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or LOf'Tir^AT, SAJi?. 

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The Autlior of these Memoirs begs to state, that it was with 
oonaderable reluctance that he was prevailed upon to under- 
take the task which he has now fulfilled. Besides his deeply- 
felt considousness of inability to do justice to such a subject, 
and his involvement in other avocations, too numerous to 
admit of full justice being done to any of them, the work 
was surrounded, in prospect, with difficulties of no ordinary 
magnitude. A life, like that of Sir Andrew Agnew, spent 
in the prosecution of one main object — and that an object 
with too many a distasteful, and with others a merely sub- 
sidiary one — ^promised to afford but meagre materials for 
interesting biography. The materials themselves, when pre- 
sented, were of a somewhat formidable description. Sir 
Andrew kept no diary. His annalist was thus deprived of 
an advantage which, in the case of some recent biographies 
of the great and the good, has enabled their compilers, with 
comparative ease, to impart a peculiar life-like charm to 
their pages. But Sir Andrew never destroyed a letter that 


he received ; and when it is considered that his warfare was 
conducted chiefly through the epistolary medium, and that 
he formed for many years the centre of Sabbath correspond- 
ence for the whole kingdom, the mass of letters accumulated 
in his repositories may be easily conceived. When to this 
we add Sir Andrew's own letters — ^kindly communicated by 
many of his correspondents — ^it will be admitted, that to 
cull out of such an immense budget those pieces of informa- 
tion which might be deemed of importance, and to arrange 
them in such an order as might form a connected narrative, 
was no easy task; — ^it was certainly one whidi, but for the 
efficient assistance he has received from the femUy of the 
late Sir Andrew, the Author must have despaired of accom- 

In spite of these disadvantages — amoved by tender respect 
to the memory of the deceajsed baronet, with whom, in 
a humble way, he had the honour of occasionally co-ope- 
rating — impressed also, he would hope, by sincere venera- 
tion for the sacred cause with which Sir Andrew's name is 
identified — and above all, he must confess, yielding to the 
affectionate importunity of a widowed heart, pleading more 
effectually in this case than either the caUs of Qod or the 
claims of man — ^the Author ventured on the undertaking, and 
he has found much pleasure in the prosecution of it The 
reader, he trusts, will share with him in the feelings of grate- 
ful surprise with which, as he advanced in the history of Sir 
Andrew's career, he discovered so many features of varied 
and unexpected incident, and so many points of general and 
enduring interest 


In treating the public life of Sir Andrew, the sources of 
information were open in the records of Parliament, and 
other published documents. But, for the elucidation of his 
private life and character, the Author is indebted to the 
numerous contributions of his Mends and relatives, to whom 
he now begs to return his most grateful acknowledgments. 
It would be unjust to conceal his large obligations, in par* 
ticular, to Lady Agnew, whose untiring devotedness o the 
memory of a much-prized and much-lamented husband, has 
supplied the compiler with abundant materials for this 
department of the volume. 

It was proposed at first to insert, in an Appendix, a number 
of papeiB illustrative of the facts or principles embodied in 
Sir Andrew's life. But^ as the work advanced through the 
press, finesh materials were furnished ; and it became evi- 
dent, finom the length to which the Memoirs unexpectedly 
extended, that these articles could not be added without 
swelling the voliune to an inordinate size. This will account 
for the absence of papers promised in some of the earlier 
sheets, as likely to be given in the Appendix. It must also 
serve as an apology, which the Author trusts will be kindly 
accepted, for the omission of some interesting contributions, 
which at one time he fully intended to introduce. No 
apology can be required for adding to these Memoirs, Lady 
Agnew's interesting reminiscences of Sir Andrew's last hours 
upon earth; and few would have forgiven the suppression of 
the beautiful lines, with which Mrs Alexander Stuart Men- 
teath has enabled the Author to close his volume. 

No pains have been spared to render the volume, in point 


of outward appearance, worthy of its subject. The Illustra- 
tions have been finished in a style of elegance and taste, 
fitted, it is hoped, to reflect credit on all who were engaged 
in their production. 

With regard to his sentiments on points of religious truth, 
the Author, as he can make no concession, can crave no 
indulgence. But, with such a model of Christian courtesy 
and charity before him, he has studiously avoided, in his 
reflections on persons and parties, all harsh and imcharitable 
constructions; and if he has given needless offence to the 
feelings of any, the discovery will be to him matter of dis- 
appointment, as well as of regret He leaves the volume 
in the hands of the public, with an anxious hope that it 
may prove a not unacceptable contribution to our religious 
literature; and with a fervent prayer that it may be blessed 
for the promotion of the cause of truth, of piety, and of the 

Edikbuboh, Novtmbtr 1850. 




The birth of Sir Andiew Agnew— His ancestry— Anecdotes of Lientenant- 
General Agnew — Anecdote of Sir Stair Agnew— The De Courcys — 
Circumstances of Sir Andrew's birth-— Early characteristics and inci- 
dent8» 1-23 



Sir Andrew enters on his estate — Projected improvements — Prosecutes his 
education — ^Youthful traits — Oxford — His tutor, Mr Johnson— Sudden 
death of his tutoi^-John Gibbs, an episode — Dean Mibnan — ^Lady Car- 
negie and family — Cheltenham — Marriage of Sir Andrew — Romantic 
generodty^Hi^ moral character, .... 24-48 



Trip to the Continent— Return— Imperfect Tiews of the gospel— First eTan- 
gelical sermon — His gradual oonyersion — Symptoms of change of views — 
Tracts — Bible Society — Sabbath schools— Family worship— Interest in 
the Church— Church extension — Sir Andrew's character as a proprietor 
— ^Financial difficulties — Retrenchments— Effects of seclusion — Natural 
guety— The change discovered— Force of truth— The change confessed— 
Anecdote— Reflections, ...... 49-79 




The Sabbath in Scotland— First impressions— Lines on the Sabbath—The late 
Dr M'Crie — Sermon on the Sabbath — The finger of Providence — The 
morality of the Sabbath — ^Views of Luther and Calvin — New Testament 
Sabbath— Sir Andrew's motto — Practical lesson on Sabbath observance 
— ^Domestic bereavements) ...... 80-100 



Commencement of Parliamentary career — Roman Catholic question — "A 
Moderate Reformer" — The Reform Bill — Sir Andrew's first election — 
The House of Commons — Letter from Dr Chalmers — Sir Andrew's second 
election — His amendment on the Reform Bill — His third election — Com- 
mencement of the Sabbath movement — ^Bishope of London and of Calcutta 
— ^The Lord's-Day Society — Sir Andrew selected as the leader of the ques- 
tion in Parliament — Self-devotement, .... 101-127 



Select Committee of Inquiry— Labours in Committee — Andrew Johnston, Esq. 
— The evidence — Sabbath profanation — Sabbath slavery — Sabbath con- 
science — ^The poor bargenuin — ^Evidence of Dr Farre — Suggestions of the 
Committee — ^Witnesses from Scotland — Results of the inquiry — State of 
feeling in the House of Commons — Consultations about the bill — Sir 
Andrew's decision — Sir (Horge Sinclair's recollections of this period — 
J. P. Plumptre, Esq. — Lull before the storm — Death of Sir Andrew's 
mothei^-The bill introduced — Character of the bill — Sabbath protection 
— Correspondence — ^The Dissenters— The Sunday-Trading Suppression So- 
ciety—The Sabbath Protection Society— Tokens of the approaching storm 
— Attacks on the bill by the press — Confidential correspondence — ^En- 
couragement — A spiritual constituency, .... 128-169 



Second reading of the bill proposed— Sir Andrew's first speech on the bill — 
Treatment and rejection of the bill — Indirect effects of the bill — Anec- 
dotes — ^The Scottish Sabbath Bill — Sentimentalism — Personal obloquy — 
Anecdotes— " The song of the drunkards" — Recollection by Sir George 
Sinclair— An affecting incident— A parting hit, . . . 170-101 




Popular charges against Sir Andrew — Judaism — Puritanism — Aoeticism — 
Familiar correspondence — ^Ttie family of Lochnaw — Miss Catherine Sin- 
clair — Sir Andrew's humour — John Dunlop, Esq. — Ridiculous preconcep- 
tions of Sir Andrew--"The Machar'smail"— " A puflT'— " The old country 
gentleman" — Tact and good temper^Moral integrity — Private character 
and consistency — Provocation — ^The wrath of John Gibbs, . 102-215 



Interest in Ireland — Sir Anditiw again in the field — Skirmishing — Sunday 
fairs and markets — Timidity of friends — Sir Andrew's "obstinacy" — 
Obloquy and opposition in Parliament — Second defeat of the bUl — Meet- 
ing of Lord' 8-Day Society — The Wesleyana — Sunday coaching — Grateful 
effect of the meeting— The Psalm-book — Mr Peter's biU— Lord Wynford's 
bill — ^Loni Brougham's sarcasm — Sabbath bills of Messrs Fleetwood and 
Poulter— -Inutility of concession — Scottish and English piety, . 216-240 



Sir Andrew's fourth election — Opinions on the questions of the day — Canvass- 
ing— Politics— " Letter to the friends of the Sabbath"— Sir Robert Peel 
on the Sabbath — Sir Andrew at his post — Suspension of Parliamentary 
action — Sir Andrew not "a man of one idea" — Christian legislators — "The 
Drunken Committee" — Temperance and the Sabbath — Politics subordi- 
nated to religion — Politics and Protestantism — ^Endowment of Popery — 
The Rev. Dr Duff— Religious societies, .... 241-268 



Sabbath bill of 1836— Third defeat— Reaction in favour of Sir Andrew— In- 
fluence of Sabbath societies — Recollections by the Rev. William Leeke — 
C/orrespondence with Mr Leeke — Public breakfast to Sir Andrew at 
Derby — Untiring perseverance — The pressure from without — Reiteration 
— ^Friends and sjrmpathy throughout the country — The Dundee barber's 
case— Mr Bianconi— Second reading of the last Sabbath Bill— Triumphant 
division— Change of Anti-Sabbath tactics— Voluntaryism— Inconsisten- 
cies alleged agaiost Sir Andrew-" The fugleman "—Testifying zeal— Fate 
of Sir Andrew's bill, 269-317 

I» ^ "^ 




Sir Andrew's loss of his seat in Parliament— Disappointmentr--Bquanimi ty— 
Reflections— Mr Plumptre's bill— Public regrets— Sir Andrew at home- 
Home recollections — Parental indulgence — ^Education of boys — Church 
extension— General M'Douall— Efforts for the Sabbath in Edinburgh- 
The Scottish Sabbath Society— Letter from Dr Chalmers— Desecration of 
the Sabbath in Edinburgh— Eztensiye Yiew»— Sabbath mail— Household 
bereayements, ....... 318^353 



Ecclesiastical moyements— Non-intrusion — ^Regrets at seclusion from Parlia- 
ment—Letter to the Marquess of Bute — ^The Disruption— Mrs Menteath's 
recollections — The Sabbath again — ^Railway travelling— Public meeting 
in Edinbuiigh — The anti-ndlway pledge — Anecdote of Dr Chalmers — 
Railway tactics— Stormy meeting — The triumphant proxies — Duty of 
Christian shareholders— Evangelical Alliance— Edinburgh and Olasgow 
Railway— Hostile proxies— Stoppage of passenger trains— Reflections— 
Dr M'Farlan of Greenock— Testifying— Meeting at Manchester— Triumph 
of the new directors, ...... 354-395 



Reminiscence of early life — Marriage of Sir Andrew's eldest son — Lord 
Ashley— Mr Swan— Young Men's Sabbath Observance Society — Religious 
"squeamishness" about shares — Opening of the Caledonian Railway- 
Increasing labours — Letter to the Marquess of Breadalbane — ^Last efforts 
of Sir Andrew— Narrow escapes— Last illness— Death of Sir Andrew— His 
funeral— His character— His public services— Conclusion, . 396-419 


Recollections of Sir Andrew's Deathbed. By Labt Agnew, 421 

Funeral of Sir Andrew, ....... 435 

Family of Sir Andrew, . . .... 437 

Lines on the Funeral of Sir Andrew. By Mrs Alexakbkb Stvabt 

Mentkath, ........ 438 


PoBTBAiT ov Sm A2a>BKW Aqnkw. Engrayed by J. Talfonrd Smyth, firom a 
Painting by Sir J. Watson Gordon, P.R.S.A. To front the TitUpage. 

ViGNKm ON TiTLBPAGM— LocHW AW Castle. EngraTed by W. MiUer, from 
a I>rawing by the Conntess of Gainsborouc^ 

PouTXCAL Map of Enolahd, firom a Sketch by Sir Andrew Agnew. 

Tofnmtpagt 103. 

Lochxaw. Engraved by W. Miller, fix>m a Drawing by R. K.GreyiUe, LL.D. 

To front pagt 262. 

Design or Monumxnt to Sis Andrew Agkew. End of Volume. 







Sm Andrew Agnew, the subject of these memoirs, 
was born at Kingsale, Ireland, on the 21st of March 
1793. He was only child of Lieutenant Andrew 
Agnew, eldest son of Sir Stair Agnew, the sixth 
baronet of Lochnaw, and of the Honourable Martha 
De Courcy, eldest daughter of John twenty-sixth 
Lord Kingsale, premier baron of Ireland. Thus 
the late Sir Andrew united in his veins the blood of 
two of the most ancient and honourable families in 
the kingdom. 

The name of Agnew, or Agneau, is supposed to 
be of JUJ^orman origin ; and the family tradition is, 
that its founder came to England with William the 
Conqueror. Ancient records point to a very early 
connection between the Agnews and the De Courcys. 
In the twelfth century, when the famous warrior, Sir 
John De Courcy, conquered the province of Ulster, 



he was accompanied^ we are told, by Agneau, an 
Anglo-lSTorman like himself, who settled at Larne, 
in the conquered province; and it is well known 
that the family had very extensive possessions in the 
county of Antrim, where they were called Lords 
Agnew, or Lords of Larne."* In the reign of 
David II. they appear to have come over to Scot- 
land, and acquired the lands of Lochnaw, then a 
royal castle ; and the representatives of the family 
long held the offices of Heritable Constables and 
Sheriffs of Wigtounshire.f The high antiquity of 
the family may be inferred from the fact, that in a 
parliamentary ratification of its dignities and privi- 
leges, passed in the year 1661, it is said to have 
enjoyed the use and possession of them " past all 
memorie of man." J 

* See a full genealogical account of the family of Agnew of Lochnaw, 
in the Appendix, No. I. 

t Chalmers informs us, that ''Andrew Agnew was the first who 
obtained, in the capacity of sctiti/er (shield-bearer, esquire-at-arms), the 
good- will of the Lady Margaret Stewart, the Duchess of Turenne and 
Countess of Douglas, while she enjoyed Galloway as her dower. In 
1426, he acquired from William Douglas of Leswalt the heritable office 
of the castle of Lochnaw," &c. — (Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 396.) 

J " Ratification in favours of Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw, Knight, 
Our Soverane Lord and Estates of Parliament ratifies and approves all 
and sindrie Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw, Kny*., Baronet, Shireff- 
principal of Wigtoun, his charters, rights, and infeflments of his lands 
and baronie of Lochnaw, with all and sindrie fies, casualties, proffeits, 
emoluments, privaleges, dignities, &c., according as the samen have been 
granted by his Ma*'«» royall predecessours to the said Sir Andrew and 
his ancestors of long descent, and according as he and they have been in 
use and possession past all memorie of man" — {Acts of the Parlia- 
ments of Scotland , vol. vii. p. 364.) 


In tracing the descent of those who have dis- 
tinguished themselves in the drama of Hfe, it is inte- 
resting to mark the characteristic features of the 
mind^ descending^ like those of the countenance, 
from sire to son, and vanishing for a time, only to 
reappear, after the lapse of centuries perhaps, in 
their descendants. It is still more important, how- 
ever, to notice the same family Ukeness when deve- 
loped in the lineaments of the Christian character. 
The grace of God is sovereign, not hereditary; it 
does not flow in the blood, nor follow in the line of 
entail ; yet '* the generation of the upright shall be 
blessed;" and instances are not wanting in which 
those who, in former days, have been '' vaUant for 
the truth upon the earth," have been succeeded 
in their spiritual as well as earthly honours by some 
remote scion of their house, who has manifested, in 
very different times, the noble principle and piety of 
his fathers. In studying the Agnew gallery of family 
portraits, one cannot fail to discern occasionally in 
the grave baron or mailed warrior of the olden time, 
some striking traits of resemblance to the character 
which belonged to the subject of the present memoir. 

It is probable that Sir Patrick Agnew, the sev- 
enth sheriff, who was created a baronet of Ifova 
Scotia by Charles I. in July 1629, was a Royalist. 
His name appears in the list of the High Commis- 
sion Court, established in October 1634, for purposes 
similar to those of the Star-Chamber in England, 
and the intolerant proceedings of which contributed 
to produce the outburst against Episcopacy in 1637. 


But his son, Sir Andrew, who was knighted in his 
father's hfetime, took an active share in the cause of 
the Covenant, then identified with that of civil and 
rehgious hberty. His zeal in this cause may be in- 
ferred from his having been member of Parliament 
for Wigtoun during that stormy period ; from his 
having been appointed by Cromwell as Sheriff of 
Galloway even during his father's life; and from the 
hardships to which he was subjected at the Restora- 
tion. His name appears with £6000 against it in 
the list of fines imposed by Middleton in the Parlia- 
ment of 1662;* and " the persons contained in this 
list of fines," says Wodrow, " so far as I can now 
learn about them, were, generally speaking, of the 
best morals and most shining piety in the places 
where they lived, and chargeable with nothing but 
being Presbyterians, and submitting to their con- 
(juerors (during the Commonwealth) when they 
could do no better."")" In January 1682, the same 
knight was deprived of the sheriffdom of Wigtoun- 
shire, so long held by the family ; and the office 
was conferred on the notorious Graham of Claver- 
house. The reason assigned for superseding Sir 
Andrew Agnew was, that he declined to take the 
test — a self-contradictory oath, imposed purely for 
the purpose, it would seem, of excluding all con- 

* The fine set against Sir Andrew's name in Wodrow's list is only 
£600. This, however, is a mistake of the press. The sum of " Sex 
Thousand p* " is distinctly given in the Act, as having been levied on 
" Sir Andrew Agnew, Shirreff of Galloway." — {Acts of the Parliaments 
of Scotland, vii. 427.) 

+ Wodrow's History, vol. i. p. 270. 


scientioiis men from offices of state.* " The Scottish 
Privy Council," says an author deeply tinctured with 
prejudice, '^ sent down the well-known John Graham 
of Claverhouse, to shew the Agnews, at the end of 
two hundred and thirty years, how to execute the office 
of sheriff during such times.^^f The true reason, as 
Fountainhall has shown, was, that Sir Andrew would 
not lend himself to be the mercenary and merciless 
tool of Government in oppressing, for conscience' 
sake^ the people under his jurisdiction. The natives 
of Wigtounshire and Galloway, in general, concurred 
zealously in the Reformation. They were sound, 
intelligent, and conscientious Presbyterians. Many 
of them, during the reign of persecution, had become 
obnoxious to the unprincipled Government of Charles 
II., by harbouring " intercommuned " ministers, at- 
tending conventicles, and receiving what were then 
termed " unlawful baptisms." Their worthy sheriff, 
like Sir John Dalrymple of Stairs, and others who 
were friendly to the persecuted cause, and involved, 
either personally or through some of their relatives, 
under the sweeping edicts of Government, endea- 
voured to compromise matters by inflicting fines of 

* The late Sir Andrew, who was familiarly acquainted \iHth the 
ancient history of Scotland, turned my attention once to the pernicious 
effect which the imposition of such oaths had produced on the country 
at large, by debauching the consciences of men, and preparing the Scots 
for so tamely submitting, as they did after the Revolution, to rarious 
encroachments on their religious liberties; — a fact not so generally 
noticed as it deserves, and of which I have made use elsewhere. — (See 
The Ban Rocky its Civil and Eccl. History, p. 23.) 

t Chalmers* Caledonia, vol. iii. p. 363. 


trifling amount on those delated by the curates or 
hunted down by the soldiery.* Such an interference 
with their military commissions could not be tolerated 
by those then in power; and accordingly, Claverhouse, 
who had no scruples to overcome, and whose opinion 
of the province which he was sent to govern, or 
rather to subdue, he expressed in Council by saying, 
he believed " there were as many elephants and 
crocodiles in Galloway as loyal or orderly persons " 
— " shewed the Agnews how to execute the office of 
sheriff," by exacting free quarters for his soldiers, 
and levying the most exorbitant fines, a large share 
of which found its way into his own pocket.f 

This worthy progenitor of the subject of our me- 
moirs has not escaped the reproach which High Tory 
historians have usually bestowed on the memory of 
all who distinguished themselves in the cause of the 
Covenant. After mentioning that Sir Andrew ob- 
tained from Charles II. in 1661, a confirmation of 
his lands and offices, which he held till his death in 
1671, Chalmers has added: "Here is the example 
of a man who could equally live and prosper, during 
the conflicts of civil war, or during the easy quiet of 
peaceful days^ \ This taunt is as unmerited as it 

• Sir John Dalrymple was charged by Claverhouse with traversing 
and opposing his commission, — which contained ** a power both civil, 
criminal, and military, of sheriffship and justiciary," — ^with imposing 
mock fines, and with having offered him a bribe of £150 sterling, '' to 
connive at the irregularities Qi his mother, Lady Stairs, his sisters, and 
others." — (Fountainhairs Decisions, vol. i. p. 201.) 

t Ibid., vol. i. pp. 191, 201, 

I Caledonia, iii. 363. 


is foolish. The confirmation was granted before the 
commencement of ^' the easy quiet of peaceful days," 
as Chalmers terms those halcyon times, when whole 
districts of the country were placed under martial 
law. Sir Andrew, as we have seen, tasted the bless- 
edness of those days in the shape of a fine of £6000, 
and deprivation of his sherifiship ; and if he did 
contrive, notwithstanding, to " live and prosper," it 
was not as many of the minions of Charles did, at 
the expense of principle and conscience. It is pleas- 
ing, indeed, to remark, that while many of the 
families implicated in the sanguinary persecution of 
that period have perished from the earth, those who 
were distinguished for their fidehty continue still to 
" live and prosper;" — a striking verification of the 
pious motto which this same Sir Andrew inscribed 
on the old castle of Lochnaw, when he augmented 
it in 1665 : — " Except the Lord build the house, 


This faithful scion of the house was succeeded, in 
1671, by his son, who bore the same name — a 
name which has been borne by so many in the 
family — and who trod in his father's steps. He took 
an active share in the Kevolution of 1688 ; and the 
Estates, approving his zeal, restored him to his here- 
ditary office of sheriflF.* It may be here mentioned 
that this Sir Andrew was succeeded, in 1698, by his 

♦ On the 4th of May 1689, " The report of the Committee for restor- 
ing Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw to his heritable sheriffship of 
Wigton, was read and approved." — (Proceedingi of the Conventianf 
p. 46.) 


son Sir James^ who joined with his father in active 
zeal for the Eevolution; and Sir James^ dying in 
1723, was succeeded by his son Sir Andrew, the 
famous Lieutenant-General, who was the last of the 
family that held the heritable jurisdiction of sheriff, 
all such jurisdictions having been abolished in 1747.* 
Many are the traditional anecdotes related of this 
distinguished officer. Some of these are so charac- 
teristic of the family features afterwards developed, 
in a modified form and on a very difierent stage, by 
his late descendant, that they will not, we hope, be 
deemed out of place in his biography. " Sir Andrew 
Agnew, famous in Scottish tradition, was," says Sir 
Walter Scott, « a soldier of the old military school, 
severe in discipline, stifi" and formal in manners, brave 
to the last degree, but somewhat of a humorist." 
This is, on the whole, a correct description of the 
man. It was he that delivered the well-known 
laconic address to his troops when on the eve of an 
engagement : " Weel, lads, ye see these loons on the 
hill there ? K ye dinna kill them, they'll kill you ! " 
The cool courage of the veteran appeared on another 
occasion. Being on duty with his regiment at the 
battle of Dettingen, where his Majesty George 11. 
commanded in person, he was ordered to guard a 
pass at the outskirts of the British army. One day, 
just at the dinner-hour, he was informed that a body 
of the enemy's cavalry was approaching. " The 

* He was allowed, for his jurisdiction of sheriff, £4000, which 
evinces that the office was of considerable value. — (Chalmers' Caledo- 
nia, vol. ilL p. 364.) 


loons," exclaimed Sir Andrew, " will never hae the 
impudence to attack the Scots Fusileers ! " and he 
ordered his men to take dinner, aUeging that they 
would fight all the better for it. To the dismay of 
his officers, who witnessed the gradual approach of 
the enemy, he set them the example ; till at last, as 
he was in the act of picking a bone, a shot struck 
it out of his hand, upon which, declaring that '^ They 
were in earnest now," he rose, and made arrange- 
ments for meeting the enemy. Observing the French 
cuirassiers coming on at a charging pace upon him, 
he well knew that the usual mode of resistance to 
this manoeuvre would be useless, as these troops, 
which were of the royal household, were mounted on 
the best horses, and not only provided with iron 
cuirasses, but had them also buckled on to the saddles, 
so that the bayonet could make no impression. He 
therefore ordered his men to open, to allow the 
cavalry to pass between the platoons, knowing that 
they would retreat as soon as they discovered the 
main body of the army. On their return, he ordered 
his men not to fire " till they saw the white of their 
een," and to aim at the horses ; by which means, on 
the cattle falling, their riders, bound to the saddles, 
were speedily dispatched or taken prisoners. After 
the action, the king observed to the worthy baronet, 
" So, Sir Andrew, I hear you let the French get in 
among us ? " " Yes, please your Majesty," replied he, 
" but they didna win back again ! " ♦ 

But the exploit for which this hero is best known 

• Playfair*8 Family Antiquities — Baronets of Scotland, 


among us^ was his gallant defence of Blair Castle^ 
the seat of the Duke of Athol^ when blockaded by the 
rebels under Lord George Murray, the Duke's bro- 
ther, in 1746. Having been sent to secure this 
castle, the Duke being absent on the Continent, Sir 
Andrew found himself, on the morning of the 17 th 
March, so unexpectedly attacked, that he had barely 
time to secure himself and his garrison of 270 men, 
rank and file, within the massy walls of the house, 
when he was closely invested by the insurgents. The 
provisions in the castle consisted chiefly, if not 
wholly, of a small quantity of biscuit and cheese ; 
the ammunition did not amount to more than nine- 
teen cartridges to each man. Here, however, not- 
withstanding disparity of numbers, and the want of 
all ordinary preparation for a siege, the veteran 
determined to maintain his post, and made his 
dispositions accordingly. The garrison was im- 
mediately put on short allowance, and enjoined to 
observe the strictest economy in the expenditure 
of powder and ball. In vain did the enemy resort 
to assault, to stratagem, to intimidation, to insult. 
In vain did they try at one time to starve him out, 
at another to irritate him, ^^ heaving up stones, with 
coarse jokes, especially against Sir Andrew, of whose 
peculiarities they seemed to have been very well in- 
formed." The intrepid commandant was neither to 
be cajoled out of his caution, provoked into rash- 
ness, nor frightened into capitulation. Once only, 
his temper, naturally choleric, burst into flame. 
Lord George Murray had sent him a summons. 


" written on a very shabby piece of paper," com- 
manding him in due form to surrender to ^^ his Royal 
Highness the Prince Regent ! " Dreading the 
humour of Sir Andrew, not a single Highlander 
could be prevailed on to be the bearer of this cartel ; 
and the perilous mission was undertaken by a comely 
maid-servant from the inn at Blair, who conceived 
herself to be on so good a footing with the young 
officers, that she ventured to approach the castle, 
and use her influence to induce them to surrender, 
or at least to convey the message to the general. 
One of them, a poor debauched lieutenant, was in- 
duced by the rest, in a frolic, to carry the paper to 
the formidable old man, who no sooner heard its 
purport, than he drove the lieutenant in a fiiry from 
his presence, vociferating after him on the stairs the 
strongest epithets against Lord George, and deadly 
threatenings against any other messenger he might 
send; on overhearing which, the poor girl fled in 
dismay, glad to escape with her hfe. Sir Andrew's 
high sense of discipUne rendered him, though fond 
of a jest, intolerant of all frolic, even at the expense 
of the enemy, while engaged in the serious business 
of war. During the siege, some of the younger 
officers having obtained an old uniform coat of the 
general, stufied it with straw, and placed it in a 
small window of a turret, with a spyglass in the 
hand, as if reconnoitring the besiegers. The High- 
landers tried all their skill on this figure without 
effect. At length Sir Andrew became curious to 
know what could possibly induce so constant a fusil- 


lade upon that particular point of the castle; and 
on discovering the trick, indignant at the damage 
that would be inflicted on the stone and lime of the 
castle by so incessant a fire, he resolved to punish 
the culprit with somewhat of a practical joke in re- 
turn. He ordered him into the thick of the fire 
which he himself had raised, saying, " Let the loon 
that set it up, just gang up himsel' and tak it doon 
again."* Famine now stared the gallant defenders 
in the face, and they might soon have been reduced 
to the last extremities ; but on the morning of the 
1st of April, they were relieved by the timely intelli- 
gence, conveyed by the same adventurous maiden, 
that the Highlanders had retired in the night. Still 
Sir Andrew, who being shortsighted could not have 
the evidence of his own , eyes, and would not trust 
to the eyes of others, ordered the garrison to be 
shut up till further orders ; and the wary old cam- 
paigner would not flinch from his fortress, till the 
Earl of Crawford arrived next day with a de- 
tachment of cavalry for his relief; upon which, the 
garrison being drawn out. Sir Andrew formally 
received his lordship at the head of it with this com- 
pliment, " My lord, I am very glad to see you ; but, 
by aU that's good, you have been very dilatory, and 
we can give you nothing to eat!" To this his 
lordship answered, with his usual good-humour, 
" I assure you. Sir Andrew, I made all the haste I 
possibly could ; and I hope that you and the officers 

• Sir Walter Scott has not given the last part of this story cor- 
rectly. — See Scott's Tales of a OrandftUher — Misc. Works, iii. 434. 


will do me the honour to partake with me of such 
fare as I can give you." ♦ 

It deserves to be added^ that the hero of Blair^ 
with all his eccentricities^ was a good man^ and that 
in consequence of his strict attention to reUgious 
duties^ in which he met with little sympathy, he ex- 
posed himself to trials of moral courage, hardly less 
severe than those which had tested his military 
prowess. He was succeeded in his title and estates 
by his fifth son, Sir Stair,t the grandfather of our 
Sir Andrew. Sir Stair was born October 9, 1734, 
and died June 28, 1809, in his seventy-fifth year. 
He was much beloved and respected by his tenantry, 
who cherish his memory even to this day, with a 
gratitude which the following anecdote may serve at 
once to account for and to justify. Sir Stair always 
let his farms at very low rents, though he insisted on 
their being punctually paid, and would allow no 
arrears. On one occasion a person had been em- 

* '^ An Original and Genuine Narrative, now first published, of the 
Remarkable Blockade and Attack of Blair Castle. Written by a Sub- 
altern Officer who served in the Defence." (Ensign afterwards General 
Melville.)— Scoto Magazine^ 1808, pp. 330, 410. 

t Lieutenant-General Agnew had a very numerous family, amounting 
to no fewer than six sons and eleven daughters. Returning home from 
foreign service, he found his fifth son, who was bom during his absence, 
utting on his mother's knee. This, in those days of rare and difficult 
communication, was the first intelligence he had received of the addition 
to his family. ** What's this you hae got, Xellie? " was his first saluta- 
tion. ** Another son to you. Sir Andrew." '* And what do you call this 
boy?" ''I have called him Stair, after your marshal," she replied. 
"Stair! Sir Stair!" cried Sir Andrew after a few minutes' silence, 
"Sir Deevil! it disna clink weel, Nellie." So it was, however; though 
the fifth son, he did become Sir Stair. 


ployed to value the farms^ and on sending in his 
report was invited to dine at Lochnaw. Sunning 
his eye over the report, Sir Stair found to his amaze- 
ment, that the valuations were far above the rents 
he was receiving ; till, coming to one farm set down 
at three times the former rental, he could stand it 
no longer. Indignantly throwing down the report 
on the floor, he rung the bell, and, pointing to the 
document, demanded to know who had sent him 
that. He was informed that the valuator was wait- 
ing to dine with his honour, "If a, na," said Sir 
Stair^ " I canna see him : he would ruin baith me 
and my tenants out of house and ha' ; send him 
awa' — send him awa' — ^he canna stay here!" It 
would be well if some of our landed gentlemen would 
take the lesson implied in Sir Stair's homely and 
emphatic language, that farms, not being like furni- 
ture, put up to auction and sold off to the highest 
bidder, but remaining in the hands of the owner and 
only lent out for use, — the interests of landlords and 
those of their tenantry are bound up together. 

Of the De Courcy family, to which the late Sir 
Andrew Agnew stood related by the mother's side, it 
is not necessary to speak so particularly. It is known 
in our annals as one of the proudest and the most 
puissant families in the kingdom. We shall confine 
ourselves to one historical incident, illustrative of their 
character, relating to Sir John De Courcy, already 
noticed as the founder of the house in Ireland. This 
hero, who was created Earl of Ulster, had been con- 
fined to the Tower on the accusation of his rival. 


Hugh De Lacy Earl of Meath, when a dispute arose 
between John King of England and the King of 
France, about the title to the Duchy of JS^ormandy, 
which, as usual in these times, was referred to two 
champions to decide. The French champion was 
ready, but none of King John's subjects would 
answer the challenge. In this dilemma, the king 
was informed that John De Courcy was the only 
man in his dominions who could, if he would, enter 
the lists with such a champion. A royal message 
was sent to the Tower commanding his service, 
but twice did the high-spirited and deeply-offended 
earl refuse to obey the summons ; and it was not till 
the third message came that he consented, for the 
crown and dignity of the realm, to hazard his life. 
The combat being appointed in Iformandy, the 
earl's own sword was sent for out of Ireland ; but 
when the day came, and the champions had entered 
the lists in the presence of the Kings of England, 
France, and Scotland, the French champion, not 
liking the strong proportions of the earl, nor the 
terrible weapon he bore in his hand, when the 
trumpets sounded the last charge set spurs to his 
horse, broke through the lists, and fled into Spain, 
whence he never returned. The victorv was thus 
adjudged to the Earl of Ulster; but the king, 
anxious to see some proof of his great strength, 
ordered a mailed helmet to be laid on a block of 
wood; and at one blow the earl cut the helmet 
asunder, and buried his sword so deep in the wood, 
that none there present but himself could draw it 



out again. His honours were restored, and, being 
asked what more he desired, the earl replied, that 
he had titles and estate enough, but desired that he 
and his successors might have the privilege, after 
their first obeisance, to be covered in the royal pre- 
sence of the Kings of England, which the king 
granted; and the proud privilege is preserved in the 
family to this day.* 

The birth of the late Sir Andrew took place under 
circumstances which impart to it a melancholy in- 
terest. His father. Lieutenant Agnew, during a 
visit which he paid, with his bride, to the paternal 
home at Lochnaw, was seized with sudden illness, the 
result, it is said, of over-exertion in hunting, and died 
on the 11th of September 1792, in the twenty-sixth 
year of his age, within four short months of his mar- 
riage.f The disconsolate young widow, stunned by 
the sudden blow, returned to Ireland in a very weak 
state of health, and suffered so much and so long 
before her deUvery, that the medical men announced 
to her mother. Lady Kingsale, their fears that it 
would be impossible to save both mother and child. 

* Playfair's Familt/ Antiquitiei — De Courcy, 

t To the character of this lamented young man, one of his brother- 
officers, Captain Watson, bears the following testimony, in a letter to 
Sir Andrew, dated March 29, 1833, which must have been all the more 
gpratiiying to him, that it was accompanied with a cordial approba- 
tion of his efforts to secure the better observance of the Sabbath : — 
" My acquaintance with your truly respected father began at Chatham. 
We were a twelvemonth in garrison there. He was indeed beloved by 
all his regiment, and esteemed by all who knew him. I never knew 
any officer more beloved. He was also a very handsome man." 


It was a painful moment^ but Lady Kingsale^ always 
trusting that the infant would be spared to the 
afflicted mother^ entreated for a delay of Jive minutes. 
This was allowed, and the birth was safely accom- 
plished, though not without great difficulty. fTo 
sound was heard when the infant entered this world 
of sorrow, and fears were entertained for his life; 
but, by the prompt use of means, he was restored 
to animation. God had work in store for the post- 
humous child; and the mother lived sufficiently 
long to discover and to appreciate the holy pur- 
poses to which the life, so wonderfully preserved, 
was afterwards so zealously devoted. His early 
youth he spent in Ireland, residing generally at 
Kingsale, under the care of his mother, and the 
guardianship of his maternal grandfather and grand- 
mother, till he succeeded to his property. From the 
place of his birth, and his connection with Ireland 
by the mother's side. Sir Andrew used afterwards, 
when taunted with his " Scotch Bill" and his Scotch 
prejudices, to maintain, with a mixture of playful- 
ness and policy, that he was neither Scotch nor 
English, but a good Irishman. 

From his earUest years, young Andrew was held 
up as a model to all those of his own age; mani- 
festing from the first that steadiness of character for 
which he was so conspicuous in after life. Without 
the advantage of a religious education, it is worthy of 
remark that he was always most scrupulous in acting 
up to his idea of what was morally righty and opposed 
to every thing like deceit. In those days it was quite 



common to write on the margin of newspapers trans- 
mitted by post; and to purchase smuggled goods; and 
many a time was the youthful moralist laughed at for 
his preciseness in objecting to such practices as frauds 
on the revenue. Still, this high and chivalrous tone of 
morality in all things did not fail to gain him universal 
respect, and produce its influence even upon his 

As a boy, he was distinguished by a singularly 
sweet and amiable disposition. Tenderly brought up 
by a devoted mother, and surrounded by loving rela- 
tives, his affections, naturally warm, were drawn out 
in the genial atmosphere of kindness around him. 
"Sir Andrew's beautiftil character," says one of 
his noble female relatives,* " which showed itself 
from the time he could speak, continued to im- 
prove from day to day ; and all those friends and 
relations by whom he was surrounded, held him 
up as a pattern to all those of his age." He was 
the idol of the whole family, and greatly beloved 
by all who knew him. And never was kindness 
more amply reciprocated. The grave has closed 
over many who would have gladly borne witness to 
his amiable character, as they continued to the last 
to speak of him with enthusiastic affection. Some, 
however, still survive, who retain to this day a lively 
recollection of the goodness of heart, the generosity, 
and the thoughtful benevolence which even then 
characterised the boy. One instance of his considera- 
tion for the feelings of others was long remembered 

• The Honourable Mrs Hamilton, formerly Anne De Courcy. 


and gratefully acknowledged by the persons, com- 
paratively strangers, towards whom it was displayed. 
A party of gentlemen having dined together on the 
water, by some untoward accident the small boat in 
which they returned was upset, and two of the party, 
married men, were precipitated into the water, but 
immediately rescued. Little Andrew instantly ran 
off to their houses, fearing lest the news of the acci- 
dent should reach their wives and relatives without 
being accompanied by any assurance of their safety. 
It may be easily supposed that a temper so amiable 
would lead him especially to avoid every thing that 
could give pain or uneasiness to his only remaining 
parent. It is remembered that on one occasion, when 
wrestling in perfect good-humour with a companion 
of his own age, one of the short daggers which they 
were foolishly playing with, pierced his arm, and the 
blood flowed in a manner that alarmed the youthful 
combatants. The first thing that young Andrew said, 
was, " take care that my mother does not know 
of it! she would be in such distress!" His com- 
panion, who was in the greatest distress himself till 
assured by the doctor that there was no danger, used 
to say, in relating the accident, that he should never 
forget "how completely the dear little fellow's con- 
cern for himself was swallowed up in solicitude for 
his mother." There are many who can tell how 
beautifully this unselfish and delicate regard to the 
feelings of others, the germ of all true politeness and 
courtesy, was developed under the influence of reli- 
gion in his future career. The mother towards 


whom this devoted affection was shown, was in every 
respect deserving of it. All who knew her bear testi- 
mony to her singularly amiable character. Indeed, 
if we find in the family of Agnew traces of the firm- 
ness and determination which characterised Sir An- 
drew, it is equally apparent that he was indebted, 
so far as natural temperament is concerned, for the 
sweetness, affabihty, and gracefulness, with which 
these sterner virtues were accompanied, to his ex- 
cellent mother.* 

As he advanced in life, his correct moral feel- 
ings made him shrink with instinctive disgust 
from the vices common to youth, and more espe- 
cially from the habits, then not uncommon even 
among the upper cla^s, of drinking and swearing. 
Into the first of these vices no temptation could 
ever seduce him ; and with regard to the latter, 
profane language, even in the less offensive form then 
prevalent in society, his better taste led him con- 
stantly to avoid. On this point, he treasured up a 
word which once fell from his grandfather. Lord 
Kingsale. Walking one day with his lordship, who 
held him by the hand, they met a person who, in 
the course of their conversation, used an oath. On 
his leaving them, little Andrew looked up wistfully in 
his grandfather's face, and asked " my lord," as he re- 
gularly styled him, what that meant ? His lordship 
explained that the man was swearing, and that it 

* The Honourable Martha Agnew, the late Sir Andrew's mother, 
was born 31st January 1774, and died 27th February 1833, aged 


was very wrong, adding emphatically, " It may truly 
be said of it, that it is a most profitless vice.'^ The 
expression stuck to the boy's mind, and often has 
he been heard to allude to it, " A word spoken in 
season" (and what season so favourable as youth ?) 
^* how good is it ! " As a proof of the confidence 
reposed in him when a mere child it may be men- 
tioned, that Lord Kingsale having raised a troop of 
yeomanry, at a time when there were apprehensions 
of a rebellion in Ireland, Andrew was intrusted with 
the pass-word or countersign, by which each night 
friends might recognise each other. Proud of the 
honour of being entrusted with a secret of which even 
his mother was kept ignorant, the Uttle yeoman, who 
wore a uniform Uke that of the corps, never betrayed 
his trust. At this time he could hardly have been 
six years old. Another anecdote, relating to much 
about the same period, has been preserved. During 
the time of party processions in Ireland, he had got 
an orange lily stuck in his breast, which Lord King- 
sale observing told him to take it off. " It is Orange 
Boven," said the boy. " Take it off, Andrew," said 
his lordship ; '^ and mind, never unnecessarily do any 
thing that may give pain to a fellow-^^eatureJ" And 
it may be truly said that he never did. 

Still, though he undoubtedly had. a higher stand- 
ard of morals than most boys of his age, and evinced 
a desire to act up to it, as well as to see others do 
the same, we would not represent him as faultless. In 
his confidential moments, he has spoken of sudden 
gusts of passion to which he was then liable, and of 


great inward dissatisfaction with himself and all 
around him, the cause of which he could hardly tell, 
though it made him miserable. He was regular in 
his attendance on the Church of England, to which 
his mother belonged ; and when he heard from the 
pulpit the precepts of the gospel, he would feel morti* 
fied at his own deficiencies, and astonished that no 
one seemed trying to follow out these lessons in prac- 
tice. Of the thoughtlessness incident to youth, he 
would often speak feelingly; and to guard against it 
he would recount an example of it in his own case. 
When a mere boy, he was amusing himself alone 
with a pistol ; it was loaded, and seeing a gentleman 
on horseback coming slowly along the road, the 
thought suddenly struck him how amusing it would 
be to witness the effect of the report on the horse. 
The pistol was fired from a place of concealment ; 
but never, he said, should he forget the horror of the 
moment, when he saw the frightened animal furiously 
plunging and struggling with its rider, and perceived 
the imminent danger in which the gentleman was 
placed by his inadvertent act. He returned home 
thoroughly ashamed of himself, and needed neither 
homily nor penalty to cure him of such practical 
jokes in future. 

It only remains to be observed of his " childhood's 
days," that the young heir of Lochnaw showed a 
fondness for music, drawing, and poetry, all of which 
he cultivated as they came in his way ; but his 
favourite amusements at this time were, strange to 
say, architecture and heraldry. The latter especially 


became^ without any one influencing his taste^ so 
much of a hobby with him, that by dint of inquiries 
he drew out from very scanty materials a genealogi- 
cal table of his own family arms. In the perusal of 
history he found great assistance afterwards from his 
knowledge of heraldry and genealogy ; and he would 
say that his favourite study, far from ministering to 
pride, as was sometimes thought, rather tended to 
promote humility. It taught him, that while many 
were as regarded rank below him, many were also 
far above him ; and the higher any one rose in fa- 
mily distinction, he argued that it must be the more 
humbUng to think how far he came short of wor- 
thily filling his position in society. 

What doth he get, who e'er prefers 

The 'scutcheon of his ancestors ? 

This chimney-piece of gold or brasn ? 

That coat-of-arms, blazon'd in glass ? 

When these with time and age have end, 

Thy prowess must thyself commend. 

The smooty shadows of some one 

Or other's trophies, carved in stone. 

Defaced, are things to whet, not try 

Thine own heroicism by. 

Forecast how much thy merit's score, 

Falls short of those that went before ; 

By so much art thou in arrear. 

And stain'st gentility, I fear. 
True nobleness doth those alone engage, 
Who can add virtues to thdr parentage.* 

• Copied by Sir Andrew, when very young, from **Oti» Swrra," by Mildroay, 
Karl of WestmorUnd, 1648. 




Upon the death of Sir Stair Agnew, his paternal 
grandfather^ in June 1809, Sir Andrew, now only 
sixteen years of age, accompanied by his mother and 
Lord Kingsale, went to take possession of his estate 
in Wigtounshire. He was not a little disappointed, on 
his first arrival at Lochnaw, with the grim look of 
the old castle, and the neglected state of the grounds 
around it. The trees, long undisturbed, had formed 
a barricade, through which he could with difficulty 
make his way on all fours ; and the swamp below, 
which had once been a lake, was now any thing but 
ornamentaL The whole was so different from what 
his imagination had pictured^ that his spirit died 
within him as he surveyed his doleful possessions ; and 
he has confessed to having strongly felt the temptation 
of becoming an absentee, drawing the rents of his 
property, and enjoying them in some more favoured 
spot of the earth. Long and earnestly did he 
ponder over this idea. No early associations bound 


hiin to the seat of his ancestors. The retired and re- 
mote neighbourhood of Lochnaw was unlike unsuited 
to his social disposition and to his previous mode of 
life. He felt he had but two alternatives; — either to 
remain and endeavour to alter the whole face of things 
around him, or to remove and think only of selfish en- 
joyment. He decided at length for the former ; and 
as he made up his mind to remain, inwardly resolved, 
that whoever came after him should not, as far as he 
could prevent it, find occasion for the same depress- 
ing feelings and the same mental struggle. And 
faithfully did he fulfil his resolution. By cxinstruct- 
ing roads (of which there were formerly none worthy 
of the name), by extensive plantations, by draining 
and improving the land, by restoring the loch, and 
enlarging the castle, he gradually changed the aspect 
of the place, and lived to see his domain rising into 
a little earthly paradise around him. 

The first object on which he set his heart was the 
formation of a suitable garden, for which purpose 
he procured the servicer of Mr John Hay, late plan- 
ner in Edinburgh.* A little incident at this stage 
may serve to show how ardently Sir Andrew, young 
as he was, entered into these pursuits. Lochnaw 
being situated in a peninsula, on the neck of land 

* Mr Hay was originally a gardener and seedsman, but in his latter 
years devoted himself to the profession of a planner or landscape gar- 
dener. He was an elder in the late Dr M'Crie's congregation, and held 
in high estimation by all who knew him. TaU and erect in person, and 
accustomed to good society, he manifested to the last the dignified po- 
liteness of a gentleman of the old school. What is better, he was truly 
a good man and a humble Christian. Mr Hay died in 1836. 


in Wigtounsliire which Ues nearest to Ireland, it was 
not easy to find a sheltered spot with the right ex- 
posure for a garden. After fixing on what appeared 
the most eligible site, Mr Hay began his measure- 
ments. The youthful proprietor, still unsatisfied, 
and with his mind quite full of the subject, dreamt 
that night of making his way through a thicket on 
the side of the house where the loch once stood, and 
there discovering on a sloping bank a much more 
desirable site for the projected garden. On awak- 
ing next morning, he lost no time in hastening alone 
to this plantation, pushed through it with consider- 
able difficulty in a straight line, and there found the 
spot he had seen in his sleep, but had never seen 
before, lying across the stream which then drained 
the loch. On examining it, he was convinced that 
it was superior in situation to that which they had 
selected. At breakfast he communicated his adven- 
ture to Mr Hay, and he has often said he should 
never forget the good gentleman's delight, when, on 
taking him to the spot through the wood, his prac- 
tised eye at once saw the advantages of the new site, 
with the stream as a boundary on the one side, and 
the wood as a shelter on the other. Mr Hay set to 
work anew, and testified to the wisdom of the choice, 
if not to the wonder of the dream, by declaring, " that 
he was almost literally roasted by the sun while he 
was laying out the upper walls." 

While thus eagerly bent on cultivating his paternal 
acres. Sir Andrew manifested a still more laudable 
resolution to complete the cultivation of his own 


mind. His early education had not been neglected. 
Though he never had attended any public schools, 
he had prosecuted his studies under the care of an 
English clergyman, the Rev. Mr Stewart, who kept 
a private school of a superior description in Ireland, 
and who thought highly of his young pupil. Sir 
Andrew did not at this period of his Ufe display, nor 
did he ever pretend to possess, those brilliant accom- 
plishments or high intellectual powers which raise 
some to eminence, and give them the command of 
their fellow-men. But he possessed faculties which, 
under due cultivation, might make him useful to 
them — a sound judgment, a discriminating taste, and 
a quick discernment of what was right in principle 
and in practice. He had made good progress in the 
usual branches of early education ; but until nearly 
arrived at the period when he entered on his estate, 
he had not, in his own estimation, felt any desire, or 
made any real eflforl, after the acquirement of know- 
ledge. It showed no small energy of mind, that on 
coming to Scotland so young, and surrounded by 
temptations of every description, he took his educa- 
tion quite to heart, and of his own accord used means 
to forward it, by putting himself to college. He 
spent the winters of 1810 and 1811 in attending the 
classes at the University of Edinburgh.* A good 
memory enabled him to retain what he had acquired ; 
and he now laid the basis of that general informa- 

* The classes he attended were those of Moral Philosophy under Dr 
Thomas Brown, and of Chemistry and Pharmacy under Dr Hope — both 
of which he attended during two sessions. 


tion for which, as all who knew him are aware, he 
was distinguished in after life. 

At the same time, with all this solidity and 
seriousness of purpose, the young baronet was far 
from being insensible to the pleasures and gaieties of 
fashionable life. A stranger as yet to the restraints 
of religious principle, properly so called, the love 
of the world reigned paramount in his heart ; he 
knew no better portion than its enjoyment, and 
aspired to no higher reward than its approbation. 
He was fond of dancing, an exercise in which he 
excelled. Graceful in his appearance and manner, 
he was a general favourite among the votaries of 
fashion. Before he attained his majority, he had 
passed the ordeal of four winters in the gay world of 
Edinburgh and London — ^''the admired of all ad- 
mirers," — his society eagerly courted, and the voice 
of flattery ever sounding in his ears. But still, even 
at that period, the domestic circle seemed to be what 
he loved best, and his very gaiety was exalted by 
the benevolence of his character. Trained in the 
society of his distinguished female relatives, — some 
of whom, though his aunts, were nearly of an age 
with himself, — ^his manly attentions, ever at the 
service especially of the aged and infirm, or those 
that appeared to him to be neglected, were bestowed 
on all with so much feminine gracefulness and deli- 
cacy as to excite general observation. It is told, 
that when in London, and frequenting the ball and 
the opera, the attendants at the door, and even the 
police, have said to him, as he returned from again 


and again assisting parties to their respective car- 
riages, " Really, Sir, you give yourself a very great 
deal of trouble!" "Why, Sir Andrew," said a 
gentleman meeting him on several of these embassies, 
'* in you the days of Scottish chivalry seem revived 
again." We notice these little traits to show, that 
the same generous and unselfish character which 
marked the subject of our memoirs when a child 
were visible in the gay young man. But a still 
higher testimony is borne to this part of his charac- 
ter, by one of those female relatives to whom we have 
just referred. " I may add," she says, " one pleasing 
characteristic of Sir Andrew — he never forgot an old 
friend, and could not even understand the littleness of 
mind of those persons, who would receive cordially an 
old acquaintance in one place, and not notice him when 
in higher company." The generality of our readers 
may be less prepared to learn, that Sir Andrew had 
a strong sense of the ludicrous, and possessed no 
small share of pleasantry and quiet humour ; a trait 
in his character known only to those who enjoyed his 
intimate acquaintance, and which may be seen break- 
ing out occasionally in the course of these memoirs. 
Still, while seeking amusement after the way of 
the world, Sir Andrew felt that he was not happy ; 
he was dissatisfied with himself, and gradually became 
disgusted with the idle and insipid dissipation around 
him. His better feelings gaining the ascendency, 
showed him that such pleasures, even supposing them 
to be innocent, as he then did, should never be made 
the business of life; and therefore, with a strong 


effort; he broke through them all^ and took up a 
fixed determination to go to Oxford, there to devote 
himself to his studies, and thereafter to travel on the 
Continent. On arriving at Oxford, about October 
1812, he found that he could not enter as a gradu- 
ate at any of the colleges, but that he might have a 
tutor, with whom he might take lodgings, and attend 
the classes, — an arrangement which he greatly en- 
joyed. A letter, addressed about this time to his 
mother, gives us his first impressions of college life. 
The fact of its being written on the evening of the 
Sabbath, evinces how differently he must have then 
thought of its sanctity : — 

^ OxTOaD, Sunday Ewning, Sth November 1812. 

" My dearest Mother, — I received your letter of Friday 
evening to-day. I now like this place much better than I 
did for the first few days, as I am beginning to feel myself 
at home. I dined last Thursday at the high table in the 
hall at Brazen-nose, at which the principal fellows and mas- 
ters sit In the evening I had an opportunity, for the first 
time, of seeing how the sage gentlemen of the University 
live. Immediately after dinner, they retire to what is (very 
improperly) called the Common Room, where a table is 
placed near a great fire, covered with fiiiits and wines, and 
spend a very rational evening ; but you will scarcely believe 
that books are never mentioned. People here seem, with 
one consent, to forget while in company that there are such 
things. I dined yesterday with Richard Napier at All- 
Souls, of which college he is a fellow. Remember me to 
Sir William Bruce. Mention how Mr Meade is, as I think 
John would like to hear fi-om others than his own family. 
Don't forget to send a pretty message to Mr Johnson." 

OXFORD. 3 1 

The impression which he left on the minds of his 
fellow-students at this period^ may be gathered from 
the following extract of a communication from the 
Rev. John Meade^ now a clergyman of the Church 
of England^ to whom he famiUarly refers as " John/' 
in the above letter : — 

" Sir Andrew was remarkable, as a young man, for those 
qualities which, growing with his growth, became afterwards 
the ornaments of his maturer years. Benevolence, sweet- 
ness of temper, refinement, and elegance of mind, were a 
cluster of graces which Nature seemed to throw, unsought, 
upon his youth ; and although the latter quality is not 
always appreciated among very yoimg men, yet, in Sir 
Andrew, it was so wholly without affectation, that it did not 
in any way detract from his popularity among his coptem- 
poraries, although it distinguished him so much above other 
youths, even of his dasa He had ever a just sense of reli- 
gion, although, when at Oxford, his opinions had not settled 
down to those serious and decided views which placed him 
afterwards in so conspicuous a position before the religious 
world. But even as a yoimg man, his purity and morality 
were, to hwman eye, unblemished ; while his affectionate 
and dutiftil conduct as a son, his courtesy, and kind atten- 
tions to all, gained him universal esteem and lova 

" Sir Andrew, while at Oxford, was never what is called * a 
hard student;' but he had a general taste for letters, parti- 
cularly for history and genealogy. He knew more than 
most men of heraldry, and was ftill of entertaining anecdotes 
respecting noble Scottish families ; not the least amusing of 
which were some respecting his own ancestors, especially 
Sir Stair and Sir Andrew Agiiew. He pursued his classical 
studies diligently, under the direction of his tutors, particu- 
larly of Mr Johnson, to whom he was much attached." 


" I should say," writes the Reverend Dean 
Milman, '^ that my impression of him at College is 
best expressed by the words, that he was a born 
gentleman, quiet in manners, unpretending in every 
respect, and, to those who knew him intimately, sin- 
gularly amiable." 

Charles Henry Johnson, to whom a passing allu* 
sion is made in the preceding letters as Sir Andrew's 
tutor, was a very superior person both in character 
and accomplishments. " This young man," says Mr 
Meade, " was indeed a person eminently calculated 
to attach and improve such a pupil as Sir Andrew. 
He was a scholar of considerable distinction. His 
manners and disposition were most amiable ; he was 
a cheerful and entertaining companion, and a young 
man of excellent heart and sound principles." 

A little anecdote, which Sir Andrew used to tell 
with much pleasure, shows that in Mr Johnson he 
was fortunate enough to meet a faithful mentor of 
no common sagacity. Visiting a collection of pictures 
one day in his company. Sir Andrew displayed his 
critical knowledge by affecting to find a blemish in 
almost every production of art before him. The tutor 
quietly listened to his remarks; but, on coming out, he 
turned to his pupil, and said : — " Now, Sir Andrew, 
you have been very severe ; but don't you know that 
it requires a great deal more genius to find out the 
beauties of pictures than their faults?" This well- 
timed rebuke. Sir Andrew said, he never forgot, and 
acknowledged that it had been of service to him all 
his life. He was not destined, however, to enjoy 


long the benefit of this tutor's society ; and sudden 
and solemn was their parting. Mr Johnson had 
tried for a fellowship, but failed : the successful can- 
didate was a particular friend of his own and of Sir 
Andrew. The friends had dined, as usual, in com- 
pany with each other, and Mr Johnson retired earlier 
than the rest, complaining that he felt unwell, and 
would go to bed. This was the only preparation 
which his attached pupil had for the awful intelli- 
gence in the morning, when his negro servant, John 
Gibbs, burst into his room exclaiming, *^Mr John- 
son is dead ! " He flew to his bedside, and found, 
to his consternation, that it was too true. A post- 
mortem examination proved that more than one 
disease existed sufficient to account for the cata- 
strophe ; but it was thought at the time, naturally 
enough, that disappointment at his failure in obtain- 
ing the fellowship had hastened the departure of his 
gentle spirit.* This solemn event threw a gloom 
over the whole University, chilling for a season tho 
flow of spirits, and arresting the thoughtlessness of 
health and youth. 

On the susceptible mind of Sir Andrew the impres- 
sion was profound and inefiaceable. It was the first 
shock he had experienced since his birth, — the first 

♦ The following lines, inscribed on the tablet over poor Johnson's 
grave, were from the pen of Professor Cardwell : — 

Oh ! 'twas a spirit, reader, like the calm 
And placid aspect of the evening heavens ; 
For o*er its bright and settled characters 
Of goodness, beamM, with softer radiance, 
The social charities—those wreaths of light 
That streamed and mantled over it. 
March 12, IR13. 



death-trial with which he had been visited ; and for a 
while it completely stunned and unnerved him. "I 
well remember," says one of his female relatives, " his 
letter announcing it, and towards evening his driv- 
ing to the door at Clifton in his carriage, in a state 
of grief and amazement ! " As soon as the funeral 
was over, his physician, Dr Kidd, then Professor of 
Mineralogy at Oxford, accompanied him to his 
mother's residence at Clifton. He did not speedily 
recover his spirits, though he returned to Oxford 
under another tutor ; and he never ceased through 
life to speak of his friend Mr Johnson with the 
greatest affection. Those who remember the well- 
known incident of a similar kind in the life of Martin 
Luther, and the effect which it had on the mind of 
the Reformer,* will not be surprised to learn, that 
the shock and anguish inflicted on the young pupil 
by the sudden and premature death of his tutor, im- 
parted a graver turn to his character ; and by bring- 
ing death and eternity before his mind as great and 
dread reaUties, prepared him for a readier reception 
of that blessed gospel, to the consolations of which 
he was as yet a stranger. 

The mention of John Gibbs, a humbler but not 
less faithful attendant of Sir Andrew, leads us to give 

• "One morning a report was spread in Erfurt that Alexis, with 
whom he lived at the University in the closest intimacy, had been assas- 
sinated. I^uther hastens to ascertain the truth of this rumour. This 
sudden loss of his friend agitated him ; and the question he asked him- 
self, What would become of me if 1 were thus called away without 
warning ? fills his mind with the keenest terrors : — Interitu sodalis sui 
confmtoftw. "—D*Aubigne'8 History of (he Befoi-matioVf vol. i. p. 15J>. 


our readers the little episode of his life, which is not 
of itself devoid of interest, and seems due to one 
who, during thirty years' service, manifested the most 
aifectionate devotion to his master. He was a native 
of Barbadoes, born in slavery, and when about thirty 
was brought over to this country in the service of 
one of Sir Andrew's connexions. His mistress, of 
course, never dreamt of parting with her dependent; 
but John, it seems, had learnt something of the then 
almost recent, and to him most marvellous doctrine, 
that whosoever touched the free soil of our happy 
land, himself became free; and as the time for 
returning to Barbadoes approached, his dread of re- 
turning to the neighbourhood of its sugar plantations 
overcame the fear of his mistress, and of starvation 
in a strange land. After requesting his freedom, 
which was refused, he respectfully intimated his 
determination to remain in England. Great indig- 
nation did his hardihood excite; every means was 
used to alter his resolution ; and it would have gone 
hard indeed with the friendless negro, had not the 
confidence which her kind eye inspired, induced him 
to throw himself upon the compassion of Sir Andrew's 
mother. In these days sympathy with the slave was 
a rare and stigmatized thing; but this excellent lady, 
to whom perhaps no one in trouble ever appealed in 
vain, instantly settled the matter by receiving poor 
John into her service. He attended Sir Andrew «at 
college, and in all his subsequent wanderings ; and 
a more faithful, humble, and trustwortliy serv«ant 
never lived. The freedom he had so much coveted, 


he seemed to value chiefly that he might spend and 
be spent in the service of his benefactress and her 
son. He was not less dutiful to his master that he 
felt himself a freeman ; and while devoutly engaged 
in scouring the plate, he might be heard humming 
with great glee, 

" Britons never, — never shall be slaves ! *' 

John had every thing to learn after he came to 
this country. He was instructed and baptized in 
the principles of religion ; he learnt to read and write, 
and often when, as he grew older, his attendance on 
the family circle at table was dispensed with, he 
might be seen planted near the door so as to be at 
hand, intently poring over his Bible. He grew grey 
in Sir Andrew's service ; he loved his children as his 
own ; and though for many years his mind continued 
apparently dark, he always alluded to his master's 
opinions with the most reverential respect ; attended 
on the ministry, and read the books which he recom- 
mended; till at last, through divine grace, after 
many sharp convictions of sin, he attained the 
blessed hope of the gospel ; and old John, simple 
and humble to the last, died as he had lived, with 
this blessed exception, that the Saviour he had long 
honoured as ^^his master's God,' he was at length en- 
abled to rest in and hold fast as his own. His death 
took place in 1839, and the large concourse of every 
rank that attended liis funeral, strikingly marked the 
kind and cordial estimation in which he was held by 
all that knew him. 


Sir Andrew was now in his twenty-second year ; 
and still keeping in view his Continental tour, on 
which he proposed to spend two years, and in the 
fond expectation of having as his companion Mr 
Milman* (now the Rev. Henry Hart Milman, Dean 
of Westminster, the well-known author of the "Fall 
of Jerusalem"), he went to Kingsale to revisit the 
scenes of his youth, and see once more, before 
undertaking his journey, the friends he had so much 
prized in that part of Ireland. Having accomplished 
this, and withdrawing himself without formal leave- 
taking of his attached friends, to save them the pain 
of bidding adieu for so long a period of absence, he 
repaired to Cheltenham, intending there to spend a 
short time pleasantly, in the society of an early friend 
of his boyhood, till the period of his departure should 

" Man proposes, but God disposes." And in after 
years Sir Andrew delighted to trace in the dispos- 
ing of this, as well as of every other part of his course, 

* Sir Andrew's early admiration of this now distinguished writer 
appears in his correspondence with his mother from College. '' My 
dearest Mother, — ^It is now a long time since I have written to you ; but, 
notwithstanding, I do not find that I have the more to say, as every 
thing here goes on in such a jog-trot way : the beef of to-day succeeds 
to the mutton of yesterday. My friend Milman, of whom perhaps 
you may recollect having heard me speak, has gained the Latin 
prize poem, which you will have the pleasure of hearing him recite in 
the theatre. It came in good time to put him in spirits for his exami- 
nation for a degree, which is to take place to-morrow. He is expected 
to make a great figure. He got the prize for English verse last year. 
Poor Johnson [who was now dead] was very much attached to him, 
and looked forward to this event with much plcM-sure." 


the unseen but unerring finger of his Heavenly 
Father. On the first night of his arrival at Chelten- 
ham, he accompanied his friend to a ball which was 
given by the Portuguese ambassador ; and there he 
saw and met, for the first time, the lady who, in the 
providence of God, was destined, though he knew it 
not, to be his partner through life, and to share with 
him in the sweet and in the bitter of his future lot. 
This lady, now his mourning widow, was Madeline, 
tenth daughter of Sir David Carnegie of Southesk, 
Baronet, and of Agnes Murray Elliot, a descendant 
of the family of Minto.* Sir Andrew remained at 
Cheltenham months, instead of weeks, as he had in- 
tended ; and he was not long of making acquaint- 
ance with the family to which, in the following year, 
he was to become united. 

Lady Carnegie, then a widow, was residing at 
Bay's Hill, in the neighbourhood of Cheltenham, for 
the education of her sons. Of this place, and of 
Lady Carnegie herself, the late amiable and higlily- 

" Sir David Carnegie, Baronet, of Southesk, was heir of the Earls of 

Southesk, and hereditary cupbearer to the King. After the rebellion 

of 1715, in which the Eju-I of Southesk took the side of the exiled 

Stuarts, the family was attainte<l in its titles and estates ; but Sir James 

Carnegie, the father of Sir David, was allowed by Act of Parliament 

1 7(54, to repurchase the estates in Forfarshire from the York Building 

Company, into whose possession they had fallen. Sir David rebuilt 

the Castle of Kinnaird, and represented his native county, Forfarshire, 

in Parliament, from 17DG to 1805, when he dicnl, and was succeeded in 

liis estates by his eldest son, then a minor, the late Sir James Carnegie : 

who was succetnleil lately by his son, the present Sir James Carnegie, 

fifth Baronet of Southesk. Those of our readers who are fond of 

genealogies, may find a more detailed account of the Carnegie family in 

the AppendLv. 


gifted Francis Horner, Esq., M.P., has given a 
graphic description in a letter to his sister, pubHshed 
in his Hfe. As it also gives an account of the way 
in which the time was spent there, about the same 
season of the year that Sir Andrew became intimate 
with the family (though Mr Horner's visit dates two 
years before), we beg to introduce an extract from 
the letter here : — 

" BuLSTBODE, September 9, 1813. 

" I spent a most agreeable ten days at Cheltenham; from 
the first day I felt myself in a family party. We spent the 
whole day in Lady Carnegie s house at Bay's HQl, about a 
quarter of a mile from the town. By the whole day, I mean 
beginning with breakfast and keeping it up till past mid- 
night In the morning, as many as were disposed made 
out a ride or a long walk, before and after wliich there was 
some loitering under those old trees, and in the evening, 
after a genuine * four hours' all round a table, we had music 
and waltzing; we, I say, for after some morning lessons from 
Miss Elliot, I was hardy enough to attempt to swing, * and 
mocked all tune, and marr'd the dancer's skill.' In the 
course of our rides or walks, we saw the old Abbey Church 
at Tewkesbury, the i-uins of Ludely Castle, where Queen 
Catherine Parr lived, after her second marriage, and the 
ancient house of Squire Delabere, who, at 83 years of age, 
lives with a brother and two sisters, all very old, and all 
unmarried, being the last of a family which dates from the 
Conquest, and had a knighthood in it, for saving the Black 
Prince at Poictiers. 

" LoNi>ON, Se^itember 13. 

" So much of a letter was written to vou last Thursday 
evening, &c. &c. I meant in that letter to have given you 
some account of the very agreeaWe Ladies I passed my time 


with at Cheltenham. I might refer you to Murray for his 
opinion of Lady Carnegie, for through him I have known 
something of her for several years ; hut you may tell him 
that he had not exaggerated any thing in the praises he 
often bestowed upon her. She is an instance of the best 
Scotch female manners, affability, sincerity, a turn for specu- 
lation and inquiry, sprighthness of understanding, as well as 
manner, imited with a great reUsh for humour, and con- 
siderable execution in that way, and all refined and regu- 
lated by natural good sense and the experience of good 
company. There is not a word of panegyric in what I am 
saying; it is but a very imperfect likeness of her. Nothing 
can be more delightful than to find such a character at the 
head of a very large family, and to see all the cares and 
anxieties it must occasion borne so gracefully. I must not 
allow myself to write with the same truth of the young 
ladies, lest you become censorious. You have some notion 
of my taste, and what I require to be pleased, and will 
therefore guess that I should not have been so much grati- 
fied as I was, if I had not, besides an unusual degree of 
information, and that use of accomplishments which gives 
an air of elegance to common sense and to good feelings, 
found in them a cheerful activity and polished unaffected 
manners. This is what they have in common : they all 
differ in character."* 

To this description we shall only add what Mr 
Horner, with all bis natural excellence, was perhaps 
unable to appreciate, even had it been obtruded on 
his notice, that the character of Lady Carnegie, with 
all its attractions, was based on profound and enlight- 
ened piety. Little did the youthful senator know 
how much religion had to do in the rare combination 

• Memoirs of Francis Hon^er^ M.P., vol. ii. p. 153. 


of virtues which excited his admiration^ and how 
much it has done, in the case of Lady Carnegie, as 
in not a few similar instances, to lend lustre to rank, 
and to stamp value on natural accomplishments. She 
is still spared to her friends and the world, in the 
enjoyment of a green old age, else we might have 
spoken on this subject with greater freedom. 

We need hardly say that Sir Andrew Agnew fully 
appreciated the attractions of the home which Mr 
Horner has so warmly eulogised. In one of his 
letters to his mother, dated October 3, 1815, a 
month after his arrival at Cheltenham, we meet the 
following paragraph: — "We have spent a most 
agreeable time. For myself, I shall not feel so much 
regret as I should have done a short time since [at 
leaving Cheltenham], as the Carnegie family, with 
whom I have chiefly lived for some time past, is now 
broken up. They are, individually and collectively, 
one of the most superior families I have ever met 
with. After this I need not add that I am in love 
with the whole family, and the mamma at the head of 
it." In JTovember following, he thus writes to the 
same dear correspondent: — "Here I am still, not 
knowing how to fix upon a day for going away. The 
way I reconcile it to myself is by saying that I have 
not yet heard from Milman, and that Lord Killean 
[now Lord Fingall, a great friend of his early days], 
having left home some weeks since, must erelong 
arrive here. But the fact is, I find my time pass 
very pleasantly, and, having no particular object in 
view before the spring, I might repent of changing 


my abode. The gaiety which goes on now can 
scarcely be called dissipation, consisting of small 
early parties. The group of which I form one, and 
which in reality is ray chief attraction, I shall 
endeavour to describe to you. And first, the three 
remaining Miss Carnegies, who are each perfectly 
different in character, but in their own way equally 
delightful. — You may suppose what people say, but 
do not believe it, until I tell you so myself! 
We have delightful Uttle parties in the evening. 
Our mornings are passed in long walks to the num- 
berless beautiful prospects in the neighbourhood, re- 
turning home full of our adventures, our courage 
in passing bulls in the fields, or our wonderful agility 
in climbing stiles and gates; or we form an har- 
monious concert, pianoforte, harp, violin, violoncello, 
and though last not least, the flageolet, on which I 
promise to be a great proficient." Again, having left 
Cheltenham, he thus writes from Mr Meade's of 
Chatley, near Bath: — "I have questions and kind 
messages from friends enough to fill a quire, but 
which your imagination is brilliant enough to con- 
ceive, and my pen not active enough to narrate. 
The insufficiency of this same little instrument 
in unskilful hands like mine, I am much more 
sensible of when I pause to consider in what terms 
1 shall express my grief at leaving the fascinations 
of Bay's Hill, and which is only mitigated by the 
pleasurable idea of making Cheltenham my road to 

From tliese extracts the reader will be at no loss 


to guess "whereunto this would grow." In the fol- 
lowing spring the marriage was settled between Sir 
Andrew and the youngest daughter of this excel- 
lent family, Madeline Carnegie, who on the 11 th of 
July 1816 became his wife. To the commencement 
of this most happy union, and the circumstances 
wliich led to it. Sir Andrew would frequently revert 
in conversation with his friends, in that half playful, 
half serious mood in which he sometimes indulged. 
" Often," says the friend to whom he owed his first 
introduction to the family, writing to one of the re- 
latives, ^'often has he assured me that to me he was 
indebted for the greatest blessing man could possess, 
and that the longer he lived the more sensible he 
was of it." 

It is very apparent that what attracted Sir Andrew 
to Lady Carnegie's family was something superior to 
the frivolity of the gay world, something more cul- 
tivated in mind than in outward accomplishment — 
nay, something even higher than mental superiority. 
Not only had Lady Carnegie herself received and 
loved " the tnitli as it is in Jesus," but many of the 
family, and certainly she to whom he was now united, 
had "tasted that the Lord is gracious," and felt "the 
powers of the world to come." Although for a time, 
strangely enough, they did not perceive the incon- 
sistency of living to a certain extent as the world, 
and for the world, mingling in its gaieties though 
aware they could yield no lasting pleasure, yet they 
had higher aspirations and knew of nobler joys ; and 
God, who had implanted the divine principle within. 


soon enabled them to "come out and be separate," 
convincing them that his love and that of the world 
cannot dwell together, and that " no man can serve 
two masters ; " thenceforward " they declared plainly 
that they sought another country, that is, an 
heavenly." The eflfect of this upon Sir Andrew will 
come to be noticed afterwards, when we advert to 
the change which soon after this took place on his 
religious character. 

We cannot conclude the present chapter without 
giving an anecdote, which, though of a delicate 
and somewhat romantic character, presents the 
subject of these memoirs in such an amiable light, 
that, at the risk of its good being "evil spoken 
of" by some, or too hastily imitated by others, we 
cannot refrain from introducing it. About the 
end of 1815, he and a young friend were together 
at a theatre in Bath, where, while attending in 
their own box to the performance on the stage, 
they were struck by observing, among the degraded 
females who are always to be seen at such places, one 
whose countenance was very diflferent from those 
around her, not from its beauty, but from its superior 
and marked expression. Both of them felt that such 
a face, beaming with intelligence, was out of its place 
there amidst pollution and vice; and both imagined 
to themselves the painful steps of artifice and de- 
ception that had ended in such degradation. Sir 
Andrew, not content with mere sentimental regrets 
over her fall, accosted the lost one on coming out of 
the theatre, and a few kind inquiries soon ehcited the 


expected truth. With tears in her eyes, she repeated 
the sad tale — ^too often realized — of false promises, 
allurement, and desertion. She had been induced to 
leave her father's house — a respectable farmer — ^and 
her betrayer, against whom she manifested much 
indignation, had left her in the paths of sin and 
wretchedness. What was to be done? Sir Andrew 
felt that he could not abandon her to her sad fate 
without an effort for her rescue. Reasoning with 
her on the course of degradation she had commenced, 
and setting before her the misery of its end, he suc- 
ceeded in enlisting her better feelings on the side of 
virtue, and obtaining her consent to enter a peni- 
tentiary or private asylum for receiving such females. 
Once embarked in his merciful enterprise, he perse- 
vered. The first place where he sought her shelter 
was under a Dissenting estabhshment ; but this 
proving unsuitable owing to the harshness of its 
discipline, he succeeded in finding another asylum, 
managed on a kindlier system by the Church of 
England, where the object of his solicitude was in- 
duced to remain for some time — ^he cheerfully bearing 
all the expense incurred by her residence at this 
place. Sir Andrew did not hear of her again till 
about a year afterwards, and some months after his 
marrijige; when he received a letter from herself, 
telling him that he had saved her from ruin — that 
she had returned to her father — ^that she was married, 
and settled in a virtuous way of life — and that never 
would she forget her debt of gratitude to him. 

In recording this interesting episode in Sir An- 


drew's ejirly life, we do not decide on the prudence 
of the step which he adopted. It was a feat of moral 
courage from which many, less warm-hearted, might 
have shrunk with cautiousness, and others, less 
purely-minded, might have come off with dishonour. 
We refer to it as an apt illustration of his character, 
in which there was blended, along with " the meek- 
ness of wisdom," no small portion of chivalrous daring 
in the cause of virtue and of truth. The following 
extract from a letter addressed to him by Mr Meade, 
the father of his young friend, one of the few whom 
he consulted in this delicate affair, shows the high 
estimate which reverend old age even then formed of 
the youthful enthusiast : — 

"/anuary 15, 1816. 

" My Dear Friend, — Whatever may be the result ol* 
your present endeavours, I have little doubt but that yom* 
charitable intentions will, sooner or later, bring down upon 
you the blessing of Heaven ; for I do not suppose that any 
conduct can be more acceptable to God than that of one of 
his creatiu-es labouring to save the soul of another. And 
indeed it is one of the most valuable boons to man, when 
the means and the inclination to do good are committed to 
the same person. You are very right to indulge your im- 
fortunate ^ro^e^f/e in choosing her asylum. You are thus 
giving her every chance of content and reformation. I am 
very much obliged by the detail you write me of your pro- 
gress, and hope you will give me the satisfaction of hearing 
the final result. Indeed, I shall always be gratified by your 
remembrance and correspondence ; for I can with truth 
assure you that my esteem and attachment to you are not 
now purely hereditary. All our circle unites in kind regards 
for you. Take care of your health, my dear friend ; you 


have every thing else. Believe me, with unalterable regards, 
ever yours, 

"Thomas Meade." 

If any thing further were necessary in the shape 
of attestation, the following short note from General 
'Agnew,* one of his guardians, addressed to his mo- 
ther from Bath, January 1812, might suffice : — 
"Every thing I hear of Sir Andrew," writes the 
General, " tends to ease my conscience on the score 
of inattention to my ward. Wilksf swears by him, 
and tells me he is much fitter to give me lectures than 
to receive them, which I have the modesty to believe." 

IJothing is more remarkable at this early period 
of his history than that Innate purity, allied to a 
high-toned sense of honour, which, even in the ab- 
sence of the religious sentiment, led him into a path 
of morality marked out for himself, and followed 
perseveringly — not always amidst the approving 
smiles of his fellows. Even already, while yet a 
stranger to the shame as well as the power of the 
Cross, he was a martyr to no small ridicule on 
the score of his unbending virtue, and his opposi- 
tion to all the fashionable vices of the age. That 
there were some of his companions, however, who 
could appreciate the noble pureness of his character, 

* General Patrick Agnew, the uncle of Sir Andrew, served for many 
years, with much distinction, in India. He was the pei*8onal friend of 
the Duke of Wellington, and the father of Mrs Alex. Stuart Menteath, 
the authoress of several beautiful pieces of poetry, to whom we are 
indebted for not a few reminiscences of her cousin. 

t Colonel Mark Wilks, then appointed Governor of St Helena, where 
he remained till the arrival of Buonaparte. 


appears from our next communication, which is ad- 
dressed to a near relative of the family, by a gentle- 
man formerly noticed as one who played with Sir 
Andrew in infancy.* Making all allowances for the 
partialities of early friendship, he must have been 
singularly blameless who could have elicited such a 
testimonial from one who, living on the Continent 
and in communion with the Church of Rome, might 
have been expected to form a very different estimate 
of Sir Andrew's character ; but whose affectionate 
tribute comes, on that account, stamped with addi- 
tional value : — 

'' Rub db Jerusalem, Brijqrs, 
Dfcetnher 20, 1849, 

" Need I assure dear Lady Agnew or yourself what heart- 
felt satisfaction I should have in contributing in any way to 
the memoir of my loved and lamented friend ? But, long 
and intimately as I knew him, tliere is nothing of his pri- 
vate life with which I am acquainted that would interest the 
public, except its rarity. From the time he could distin- 
guish right from wrong, to the last, it was adorned by every 
virtue that could elevate man. I knew him well — better 
than most — from the time he was nine years old, until God 
was pleased to take him to Himself. We were, as you say, 
more like brothers than perhaps most brothers; so I can 
most solemnly declare, before God, that a purer being never 
existed as man. He mixed, as you know, at one period, 
much in the gay world ; but he ever kept himself clear from 
its contamination. If the term dared be applied to any 
mortal, we might with truth say, he was a man without sin. 
How I loved him you know, and how I grieved for him you 
will easily imagine." 

• John Coxon, Esq. 




Shortly after the happy event recorded in the close 
of our last chapter. Sir Andrew, accompanied by his 
young wife, paid a visit to the Continent. His 
original intention was to have spent a considerable 
time abroad ; but the following letter to his mother, 
giving her an account of the gaieties of the French 
capital, will explain the motives which induced him 
to abandon this design : — 

** Paris, September 2, 1816. 

" My Dearest Mother, — Madeline has told you of our 
being at the Orand Convert at the Tuilleries on the fuast of 
St Louis; how she had to get her dress made in four hours, 
and how. the king [Louis XVIIL], with a napkin tucked 
under his chin, ate profusely of every dish until he became 
black in the face: such pious zeal did the anniversary of his 
patron saint inspire, and so intent was he on satisfying the 
appetite, not of himself, but of his people's curiosity. It is 
an old custom of the princes to dine in pxihlic on all great 
occasions, attended by all the great men of the state. On 



this day, Talleyrand and his uncle, the Archbishop of Paris 
(who looked as if he had been dug out of his grave for the 
occasion), stood on the right hasd. This most gallant nation 
are most ungallant in their court airangementa Ladies and 
gentlemen go on different days; and M. regrets to find that 
this evening she must go into the room at a different time 
from the lady who presents her. On Tuesday we did not go 
to the Duke of Wellington's, as he had not returned from 
himting. And now, my dearest mother, let me tell you 
that I shall, much sooner than I expected, give you a verbal 
account of all our proceedings. Mr Vans makes it clear to 
me that, in the present state of affairs, I cannot possibly stay 
any longer away from home. I have only time to add, that 
at the end of this week we shall change our course for the 
Netherlands, Waterloo, &c. Before the end of the month, 
we shall see you all for a day at Cheltenham, and then to 
Lochnaw. — My dear mother's affectionate son." 

Accordingly, instead of spending the winter in 
Italy, as he had designed, after paying a visit to the 
battle-field of Waterloo, where he was affected by 
witnessing the memorials of the recent scene of car- 
nage, he returned home by Brussels and Antwerp, 
after an absence on the Continent of only six weeks. 
At Lochnaw he resumed his favourite occupation of 
planting and improving his estate. On the 2d of 
January 1818, his domestic comforts were enhanced 
by the birth of his eldest son, the present Baronet. 
And here, had Sir Andrew continued the same man, 
in point of spiritual character and attainments, as he 
has hitherto been presented to the reader, the next 
ten or twelve years of his life, which were spent in 
domestic privacy, might have been passed over as 


affording little more to interest us than the ordinary 
life of any other country gentleman. We might 
have found ourselves confined to the task of chroni- 
cling county meetings^ road-trusteeships, tile-drain- 
ing, and other improvements, relieved by royal levees, 
fox-hunting, or county balls. But Providence had 
designed the subject of our memoirs for higher em- 
ployment, and he was destined, as God's public ser- 
vants usually have been, to pass through a course of 
previous preparation. About the time at which 
we hare arrived in our narrative, a change, gra- 
dual but decided, came over his character; and it 
now becomes the pleasing duty of his biographer 
to trace the stages of this, which, as it was to him- 
self infinitely the most important, will be to the 
Christian reader the most interesting, portion of his 

Previous to this period, as was formerly hinted, 
Sir Andrew, with all his regard to the moral decen- 
cies and proprieties of life, and with a sincere respect 
for religion, had manifested no deep sense of divine 
and eternal things. His views of the gospel, if he 
had any other than a vague conception of its glori- 
ous truths, were very defective and erroneous. He 
had never seriously studied the subject in the light 
of Scripture. Without denying the necessity of a 
Saviour for fallen man, he had never been led to see 
his own need of the Saviour provided ; and he rested 
satisfied with those qualifications in which he was 
conscious of excelling many others. Hitherto he 
had not even heard an evangelical preacher ; for at 


that time the doctrine so called was not often to be 
met with in the pulpits of either of the Established 
Churches. The first " gospel sermon/' it is believed, 
he ever heard, was from the lips of the Honourable 
and Reverend Gerard Noel, in the winter of 1818. 
He came home expressing his admiration of the 
eloquence of the preacher, and the interesting and 
novel character of the discourse, adding, " I am told 
too that the doctrine was good and scriptural ; but 
of that I am no judge." The truth of the gospel, as 
it first flashed on his mind, produced a vivid and 
lasting impression ; but for a time the impression was 
far from being favourable. In the circle in which he 
moved, there were not wanting worldly friends to 
point out to him what these- same "evangelical" 
doctrines would lead to — enthusiasm, separation 
from the world, hyper-sanctity, and censoriousness ; 
and stories were at hand, embeUished or invented, 
of sad deviations on the part of those " Methodists," 
who had " turned the world upside down," and " had 
come hither also." It is not marvellous that Sir 
Andrew was staggered by such representations. He 
associated the term " evangelical " with *^ angelical," 
as fitly portraying the unearthly lives of those pro- 
fessing such doctrines. His prejudices against the 
"new doctrine" were rather confirmed than softened 
by observing that, in the case of Lady Carnegie and 
her family, it had led ultimately to a thorough sepa- 
ration from " the pomps and vanity of this wicked 
world." * All unprepared for such an open avowal, 

* Catechism of the Church of England. 


and as yet unconscious of that inward principle of 
love which renders all worldly sacrifices, if such they 
can be called, easy and pleasant, Sir Andrew saw 
and heard what was going on around him with 
amazement. Like the " putting of a new piece on 
an old garment, the rent was made worse." All the 
natural enmitv of the heart was drawn out against 
the way of salvation unfolded in the gospel; and, 
strange to say, he who was so singularly upright, so 
pure-minded, vice-hating, affectionate, and lovely in 
his natural character, that he seemed one " not far 
from the kingdom of God," took offence at the holy 
character of the truth ! Its charge of utter sinful- 
ness before G od appeared perfectly groundless. The 
preacher " who had brought such strange things to 
his ears" he would not hear again, and the very 
subject was interdicted. 

It is often difficult to say at what precise time the 
grace of God may begin its reign in the hearts of 
His children. We know there is a point in which 
the man is " bom again," and " passeth from death 
unto life ; " but the preparatory stage may so much 
resemble the " life," or the initiatory steps may be 
so nearly akin to the " death," that the process of 
conversion appears, both to the convert himself and 
to attentive observers, to be gradually and imper- 
ceptibly progressive. The stream, on its first issuing 
from the spring, may seem for a while stationary and 
hesitating as to the course it is to pursue ; but we 
may be sure it has received its direction, though we 
may not be able to discover this till it has reached a 


considerable distance in its career^ when none can 
mistake its onward tendency^ or doubt its final 
destination. Or^ to adopt the sacred figure^ it is 
'' as if a man should cast seed into the ground^ and 
should sleep^ and rise night and day, and the seed 
should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how: 
first the blade, then the ear; after that the full 
corn in the ear." — (Mark iv. 26). The recent dis- 
closures of the spiritual experiences of that great 
man, Thomas Chalmers, must have brought this very 
sensibly home to the minds of thousands. Similar 
was the process in the case of the subject of our 
Memoir. It was not in his nature to cherish im- 
founded prejudices against any man or class of men. 
His high sense of integrity dictated to him the un- 
reasonableness of judging concerning any system of 
doctrine before examining into it ; and happily, even 
while he persisted in disallowing all books which 
dwelt on the obnoxious theme, the Bible was always 
acknowledged as the supreme authority in such 
matters : to its announcements he was ever ready 
to bow ; and now, confessing himself very ignorant 
of the whole subject, he determined to examine it 
for himself at the fountain-head of divine inspiration. 
This resolution he steadily adhered to, and on his 
return to the country, in the retirement of home, his 
mind gradually resumed its wonted tone. The dis- 
tress he had sufiered from the conflict between the 
" strange doctrines" he had heard propounded and 
the prejudices of early life, seemed to subside 
as he found them enunciated in the Scriptures; 


but for some time he could hardly understand 
them : the light of truths as it first dawned on him, 
was faint and glimmering, and like the blind man in 
the gospel, half restored to sight, it may be said 
that '^ he saw men as trees walking." 

The first book that was blessed for more fully 
opening his eyes to the truth, was the volume of 
sermons by Dr Chalmers, usually called his Astro- 
nomical Discourses, which came into his hands to- 
wards the end of the year 1818. The grandeur of 
the theme, the novelty of the illustrations, and the 
burning elocution of the writer, all conspired to 
secure an entrance into the understanding at least 
for the peculiar doctrines of revelation, to the eluci- 
dation of which all this flood of eloquence was made 
subservient. The humiliating doctrine of the fall of 
man, and of salvation through faith alone, was no 
longer resisted ; prejudice vanished, and the won- 
drous plan of mercy attracted his admiration as truly 
worthy of God, and wisely suited to man. He be- 
gan to see and confess that God is not only merciful, 
but " faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to 
cleanse us from all unrighteousness." And such 
pointed sayings as that of Luther, '^ that works jus- 
tify not the man, but the justified man works," 
seemed to strike his mind with peculiar force. Hav- 
ing thus overcome what was to him the main stum- 
bling-block in the system of evangelical truth, its 
entire prostration of all human merit — and having 
come so far as to see that the blessed announcement 
of pardon, through faith in a crucified Redeemer, 


contained within it the germ of all holy obedience — 
Sir Andrew felt less difficulty in embracing the other 
parts of the revealed scheme. About the same time 
Mr Bickersteth's "Help to understand the Scrip- 
tures," with its maps and figures, was made of use 
to him ; and Dr Chalmers's " Evidences of the Truth 
of Bevelation " met with a due share of his attention. 

Once awakened to a discovery of "the truth as 
it is in Jesus," and a convert in sentiment, if not en- 
tirely in heart, to the evangelical creed, his pro- 
ficiency was steadily progressive, and the change was 
indicated in a variety of outward evidences, which, 
however little they may be thought of now, will not 
appear so trivial to those who remember the prevail- 
ing tone of religious feeling some thirty years ago. 
Thus, in common with many others. Sir Andrew had 
been wont to express an invincible repugnance to 
tracts. A near relative^ aware of the prejudice, ven- 
tured, without disputing against it, to read to him 
one Sabbath evening the well-known tract by Legh 
Richmond, " The Dairyman's Daughter." He was in- 
terested, was delighted, and with his usual candour 
confessed, that " if all tracts were like that, he would 
be the last man to object to them — they could do 
nothing but good." He lived to do much good him- 
self through the once despised agency of these little 

Bible Societies were not then so popular as they 
afterwards became ; and when, on the institution of 
"The Stranraer and Rhins of Galloway Auxiliary 
Bible Society," in January 1819, Sir Andrew con- 



seated to become its president, — an office which had 
been previously declined by two others — the one a 
nobleman, the other member for the county, — the 
act spoke for the independence of his mind, and was 
a step in advance. He recognised at once the duty 
of distributing the Word of God, on which his own 
religious convictions were founded ; and, though still 
shrinking from any thing bearing the aspect of re- 
ligious singularity, he deemed it a good work from 
which he ought not to stand aloof. His early connec- 
tion with this society, which brought him into contact 
with good men of various characters and denomi- 
nations, who held so much in common with each other, 
he always regarded as a special benefit; and the expe- 
rience with which it furnished him proved a valuable 
preparative to his future career. '' I well remember," 
says one* of those with whom he was afterwards 
closely associated in this and other good works, " the 
great wisdom and firmness he displayed on one oc- 
casion when a difference of opinion arose, in conse- 
quence of something in the annual report being 
objected to, as containing sentiments supposed to be 
at variance with the distinctive principles of some of 
those who were friends and supporters of the society. 
After many communings, Sir Andrew brought the 
matter to a bearing, by saying that the passage ought 
to be left out, ' it being our business, as a society, 
to circulate^ not to expound^ the Word of God.*'* 
Sabbath Schools, now considered as essential parts 

* The Rev. William Symington, D.D., formerly of Stranraer, now of 


of Christian machinery, were at that time regarded 
with much suspicion ; and no such thing was known 
in Sir Andrew's neighbourhood, where, however, if 
any where, they were almost indispensably needed ; 
the working people, some of them emigrants from 
Ireland, being in such wretched ignorance, that, so 
far from being qualified to teach their children, they 
were themselves unable to read. He readily con- 
sented to the establishment of a school for the chil- 
dren of his own people, under the superintendence 
of one* well qualified by piety, zeal, and intelligence 
to advance their spiritual interests. An adult class 
was at the same time commenced, and suitable books 
were procured for enabling them, in the shortest 
possible time, beginning with words, not letters, to 
read the Bible. In both this and the parish school. 
Sir Andrew took the liveliest interest, frequently 
visiting them ; and of the former we find him thus 
writing in 1820 : — 

" Speaking of schools, that at the cottage goes on most 
prosperously : it consisted of fifty last Sunday. In the 
grown-up class, little Mary M'Holm attended for the first 
time, and proved a most apt and promising scholar. Mar- 
garet Bavie is not only a woman of letters, but can actually 
read Morland is much delighted to see all the herd boys 
and girls with books constantly in their hands, preparing 
their weekly lessons." 

A still more decided evidence of the change which 
had come over his religious character appeared about 

* Mr Thomas Morland, then a member of Dr Symington's congre- 


this time^ in his commencing, first the reading a 
sermon on the evenings of Sabbath, concluding with 
prayer, which led the way afterwards to the regular 
observance of family worship, morning and evening. 
This becoming practice, so unusual at that period, 
when the customary prayer on Sabbath evening was 
the utmost that in many families was kept up as a 
relic of better days, he uniformly maintained in his 
household to the last. At the same time he became 
regular in his attendance on public worship. On 
his first settlement at Lochnaw, the parish church 
being two miles distant, an old dilapidated buildings 
served by an aged minister of the old school, the 
family would commonly have prayers at home, 
especially in winter, when Sir Andrew, who read 
uncommonly well, would officiate himself, employing 
the English Liturgy, and occasionally reading a 
sermon. It is remembered, and may be remarked 
as a curious illustration of his independent way of 
thinking for himself, as well as his freedom from 
High Churchism, that he always on these occasions 
read the Absolution, as it is called ; and on a friend 
pointing out to him that it was not usual for any 
but a clergyman to read that, as the rubric ordered 
it '^ to be pronounced by the priest alone, standing, 
the people still kneeling," he took the book, and 
going over the Absolution, line by line, showed him 
there was nothing in it which any man might not 
read, as it was merely declarative of God's readiness 
to pardon penitent sinners ; and he persisted in 
reading it. 


Of Sir Andrew's sentiments on ecclesiastical 
matters we shall have occasion to speak afterwards ; 
it may be noticed here, that he now considered it 
his duty to connect himself with the Church of Scot- 
land, as the Established Church. At the same time, 
he gladly availed himself of the opportunity, when 
visiting his mother, the Honourable Mrs Agnew, 
then living at Parkhouse, near Stranraer, of hearing, 
which he did with much profit, some of the excel- 
lent Dissenting ministers in the neighbourhood, espe- 
cially the talented Dr William Symington, while he 
remained in that town. With them all he was on 
terms of the sincerest friendship and good-will, cordi- 
ally acknowledging the service they had done to the 
Church of God, by their zealous labours in keeping 
up the knowledge and spirit of true religion, then at 
a low ebb in both the Establishments. About this time 
also, he exerted himself with much zeal, though un- 
successfully, to obtain additional accommodation in 
connection with the National Church in a neglected 
portion of his own parish. The day of '' Church 
Extension," improperly so called, had not yet come. 
The Church had, in fact, extended herself ; but Sir 
Andrew found, to his surprise, that her " grand 
caterers and dry-nurses " insisted on her continuing 
to wear, in overgrown maturity, the shoes and habi- 
liments which had been made for her in childhood ; 
and that, like the Spanish monarch, she must remain 
where she was, though she should die in state, till 
the proper officials came to her relief. He had, 
however, the satisfaction, after in vain dealing with 


some of the leaders of the Church, of knowing that 
he had done his duty, and the pleasing reflection 
afterwards of having done it at a time when the 
suspicion of being actuated by party motives could 
not, with any show of reason, be entertained against 

While thus evincing a growing interest in the 
cause of religion and of the Church, Sir Andrew did 
not forget his duties as a landed proprietor. On 
this subject we have the testimony of his intelligent 
factor, George M'Haffie, Esq. of Wigtoun, who had 
the best opportunities of knowing him, having 
managed his property for nearly the third part of a 
century. " Carrying my recollections back," says 
this gentleman, " to the year 1818, from which time 
till Sir Andrew's decease in 1849, a period of up- 
wards of thirty years, I was factor on his estates, I 
had opportunity of remarking the purity and kind- 
ness of his private character and disposition ; while 
he displayed on all occasions the manners and bear- 
ing of a well-educated and intelligent country gentle- 
man, invariably kind and considerate to his tenantry, 
during the agricultural difficulties which at times 
pressed heavily on the country, such as those occa- 
sioned by a transition from war to peace prices, the 
currency bill, &c. 

" He succeeded his grandfather, I think, about 
1809. The entailed estate had been neglected. 
There were scarcely any pubHc roads, and no farm 
roads through the property. The farm buildings 
and fences were of tlie very worst description, and 


the land itself under very indifferent management. 
By Sir Andrew's indomitable perseverance, with very 
limited means and a large family, he bad the satis- 
faction of seeing his estates accessible by good roads 
in all directions. He erected entirely, or partially 
at least, forty new slated farm-steadings, built two 
new corn-mills, and made many miles of new fences, 
besides opening drains to a large extent over the 
estate, on condition that the tenants provided stones 
and filled them properly. These operations, with a 
tile-work lately built, cost upwards of £13,600. 
The Castle of Lochnaw* was almost rebuilt by him, 
a new garden made, and large plantations laid down 
at an expense of fully £13,000. The result of his 
management and outlay has been, I am glad to say, 
most satisfactory. 

'* The period of Sir Andrew's possession of his 
estates was remarkable for vast improvement in 
agricultural science and practice, but of great fluctu- 
ation in the prices of farm produce ; the gleams of 
prosperity being sadly overshadowed by pecuniary 
difficulty. Sir Andrew, without any other sources 
of income than his entailed estate, felt the necessity 
of assisting his tenants, not only by making various 
allowances of manure, &c., but actually in the years 
1821-2-3-4, gave an abatement to the amount 
of £4009. Again in 1826, when the crop failed 

* The foundation-stone of the new house was laid in May 31, 1820, 
in the presence of Lord Kingsale and other members of the family, the 
divine blessing having been implored on the undertaking. It was so 
constructed that the old might be removed, and the other remain entire. 
— See Vignette on Title-page. 


from the severe drought, and in subsequent years of 
low prices, he gave abatements to the extent of 
£5000 more, making a total abatement of upwards 
of £9000. This reduction, under Sir Andrew's cir- 
cumstances, could only be eflfected by the most rigid 
economy; but this he felt no privation, compared 
with the pain it must have given him to order the 
recovery of rents, which the low price of grain and 
cattle could not realize without trenching on the 
capital of the tenant." 

" It may be truly said of Sir Andrew," adds Mr 
M^Haffie in another communication, ^^ that he found 
the place a wilderness, and left it so changed, so im- 
proved, as to be scarcely recognised by those who 
formerly knew it." 

It may be easily conceived, however, that improve- 
ments conducted on such a large scale, and meeting 
with such imexpected drawbacks, must have borne 
heavily on the resources of an entailed estate. In 
July 1821, Sir Andrew thus writes to his mother: — 
''There never was such weather as this. You talk 
of grass in Ireland. I have not seen such a thing 
these three weeks. You ask me about rents. I have 
received none since the term-day, at which time I 
got a fair collection, considering the times and the 
markets. When I told Sir W. Maxwell, the other 
day, that my tenants could not pay, he thought it the 
worst news he had heard yet; so noted were they 
for punctuality. Elliot [the architect] has taken his 
departure. Although you may not believe me, I 
think I like the plans better than before. The 


alterations evidently went much against his stomach. 
He will not allow the saving will be as much as I 
expected. However, it will undoubtedly be roofed in 
at a smaller expense than before ; and when that is 
accomplished, I shall make a dead stop." Again, he 
writes — " Of the imprudence of beginning so large 
a building when I had already some debt, I am now 
fully aware. The depressed state of agriculture has 
tended to increase my present difficulties. A bad 
collection of rents has convinced me of the necessity 
of reducing the building. It will have more of my 
favourite style — ^the manor-house than the castle — 
and will, I think, be improved." This change in the 
building he effected by his own knowledge of archi- 
tecture, with hardly any assistance from the architect. 
But he soon discovered the absolute necessity of re- 
duction in domestic as well as architectural expendi- 
ture. A large demand upon him, as a proprietor, to 
contribute to the erection of a new church in a 
neighbouring parish, added to the causes already 
mentioned, brought matters to a crisis ; and his first 
resolution was to spend some time abroad with his 
family, during which his fortune might be repaired, 
while the improvements might still be carried forward. 
With this view, preparations were actually made. 
The home-farm was let, the estabhshment broken up, 
the carriage laid aside, and the family moved to 
Parkliouse, near Stranraer, ready to start for the 
Continent after the May term in 1821. But deeper 
views and feelings had by this time taken possession 
of his mind. He began to think, too, as the time of 


departure drew on, that it was possibly a feeling of 
false shame that dictated such a step — ^that in leav- 
ing home many duties were necessarily neglected — 
and that the end proposed might be gained as effec- 
tually without this self-expatriation. Once convinced 
that the path of duty was to remain at home, it took 
but a short time with him to decide on his course. 
He determined to remain at Lochnaw, and there to 
practise that economy which so many of our gentry 
prefer concealing among strangers and in a foreign 
land. '' We have resolved," he writes to Mrs Agnew, 
in July 1821, '*on commencing a scheme of the strict- 
est economy. We feel it is better than to struggle 
with difficulties through life. It is customary, in such 
circumstances, to go abroad. We have accordingly 
voted ourselves a travelling party. We shall have 
no more servants than are necessary in a journey ; 
and we shall even save the expense of horses, as we 
do not intend to go a greater distance than to the 
Kirk of Leswalt ! Such a resolution, you may sup- 
pose, was not formed without some eflfort; and (such 
is the force of habit) it will cost some effort to carry 
it into effect. I am aware it would be much easier 
to go abroad, like other people when in similar cir- 
cumstances ; but to do so would be contrary to all 
our feelings, both as regards ourselves and the 
children; therefore the battle must be fought at 

The noble effort thus made was, in every respect, 
richly rewarded. The happiest years, perhaps, of 
Sir Andrew's life, were those that followed of re- 



trenchment and economy. His time, spent in com- 
parative retirement and seclusion from the world, 
was devoted to the cultivation of his own mind by 
reading, and to the education of his two eldest boys, 
whom he himself took great pleasure in instructing, 
particularly in history connected with genealogy, in 
geography, and in astronomy. In the latter science 
he took a deep interest: and, in imitation of Dr Watt's 
lines on the Zodiac, he printed a little catechism, which 
he called " Sun, Moon, and Stars : Khymes for my 
Nursery." It may be here observed that Sir Andrew 
was fond of poetry, and often addressed a few simple 
lines to his children. Those written in 1822, on Scrip- 
ture subjects, show his increasing interest in " the one 
thing needful." At the same time, other matters were 
not neglected. His improvements were carried for- 
ward on a more gradual scale ; he attended all county 
meetings, and paid regular attention to his duties as 
a justice of the peace. Meanwhile, his interesting 
family grew up "hke olive plants around his table;" 
and it may be truly said that God's blessing rested 
on him and his house, so that " whatsoever he did, 
it prospered," 

To this providential seclusion from the gaieties and 
follies of the world, which continued from 1821 to 
1830, may be traced, as a special means under God, 
the fonnation of Sir Andrew's religious character. 
Wliat might have been the result, had he spent the 
same years on the Continent, it would be unbecoming 
to judge ; but, after being seasoned to the frivolities 
of Continental society and Continental Sabbaths, it 


is hardly supposable that he would have been what 
he eventually was, or done what he lived to do. The 
retirement of Lochnaw was to Sir Andrew what the 
land of Midian was to Moses, what the convent 
of Erfurt was to Luther, what the rural parish of 
Leuchars was to Henderson, and that of Kilmany to 
Chalmers. It was the place where his soul was 
nourished by close and calm communion with God ; 
where the principles of grace, already implanted, 
were fostered into maturity ; and whence he came 
forth "fully furnished" for his Master's public 
work. So gradually had the change been wrought 
on him, that, while he frankly admitted the different 
views which he now entertained of the doctrines 
which he had formerly treated as exaggerated and 
" Methodistical," he was not yet conscious of the en- 
tire and radical transformation which his character 
had undergone. Nor was he as yet prepared for a 
marked separation from the world. He could not 
see the necessity for this. He disliked the appear- 
ance of singularity ; and though, with his usual 
amiabiUty, he abstained from giving offence to others, 
by joining in fashionable amusements which they 
accounted sinful, he himself saw no such evil in 

When King George IV, visited Ireland in 1821, 
Sir Andrew was requested by his beloved maternal 
grandfather. Lord Kingsale, to meet him at Dublin, 
and give him his attendance and assistance, which his 
lordship the more required in consequence of the 
dislocation of his shoulder — an accident which had 


an unfavourable effect on his health. Sir Andrew 
gladly obeyed the summons^ and was much interested 
in the whole affair, especially when, by his Majesty's 
permission, his lordship, at a special levee, asserted 
the ancient privilege inherited by the family, of wear- 
ing his hat in the royal presence.* As soon as his Lord - 
ship entered the room, which he did uncovered, the 
King with his usual courtesy exclaimed, " Put on 
your hat — put on your hat ; I would not lose one of 
these old customs for the world. I delight in them." 
Lord Kingsale obeyed, and after thanking his Majesty 
for his condescension, he passed on. Sir Andrew 
saw him now for the last time ; in the following year 
he had to deplore his death. During this brief visit 
to Dublin, he heard much of the difference of opinion 
as to religious people joining in the dissipations of 
the fashionable world ; a nobleman high in- the 
King's favour having set a rare example, by keep- 
ing himself aloof, Daniel-like, from such things, 
while waiting on his royal master. Still Sir Andrew 
felt undecided on the point. His taste for the little 
agremens of polished society, his love of innocent 
gaiety, his accomplishments that rendered him 
always a welcome member of the joyous circle in 
which he was so well qualified to shine — all con- 
spired to hide from him the real tendency of these 

His own mind still retained the buoyancy of youth ; 
and an event occurred which gave fiill scope to its 
emotions, in the visit of George IV. to Scotland in 

* See before, p. 16. 


1822; on which occasion Sir Andrew and his lady 
having come to Edinburgh, we find him writing to 
his mother in the jocular strain in which he was wont 
to amuse her : — 

" DALRt HousB, Edinburgh, Angtut 15, 1822. 

" My dearest Mother, — Here we are : both Madeline 
and myself We came by steam on Saturday to Glasgow, 
and after church on Sunday proceeded hither — a work of 
tiecessity, from the state of the road, and horses. Three 
miles an hour, good travelling with knocked-up horses. 
General Wallace was our companion. All good Scotchmen 
have laid aside their wits ; and Edinburgh, with its environs, 
is in a ferment Families of every name and race^ with 
anxious but smiling countenances, crowd the streets. Car- 
riages of every description, from the chaise and one, to the 
coach and six. Highland chieftains with their clans or tails, 
with banners flying, broadswords drawn, and bagpipes play- 
ing. , Old gentlemen, wont to be grave, now with bows and 
quivers, hover about — Cupids clad in tartan, and yclept 
archers. Ladies, young and old, give prudence to the winds, 
and say, the ladies of Ireland ruined themselves with court 
dresses, — ^why should not we ? But all the while, where s 
the King ? A noise we did hear this morning, but whether 
the signal-gun, or the echo of a falling sweeping-brush, time 
alone can telL I was resolved not to come here; but when 
we met at Wigtoun to move an address, and talk about how 
it should be presented, so did my loyalty boil and swell 
within me that it must needs have vent." 

We have said, that up to this time he could not see 
or confess the necessity of an entire separation from 
the world, even in the grosser forms of its pubhc 
folly and fashionable dissipation. But these he now 
vindicated only in theory ; and when again tempted 


to reduce them to practice, he discovered from 
experience, that all unknown to himself, a change 
had been wrought within, which unfitted him for 
relishing, as he had once done, the frivolities of 
fashionable life. When in Edinburgh on this occa- 
sion, he attended a public ball, given in honour 
of George IV. He thought it right to go, but 
he experienced, in his own changed feelings, the 
incompatibility of all such amusements with the 
pleasures, the pursuits, and the prospects of the 
"new man." This new feeling he expressed at 
the time, and thereafter he became estranged from 
such scenes, though he never thought or spoke 
harshly of others who frequented them. It was not 
in compliance with the dictates of a narrower code 
of morality — it was not from finding any thing in the 
doctrines he had embraced, speculatively viewed, 
that condemned such entertainments ; far less was it 
because he had become a morose ascetic. It was 
because he had tasted of higher joys that he no 
longer could relish these earthly ones — because what 
once he deemed innocent now offended the purity of 
the new nature. He now felt the force of the apos- 
tolic maxims, " Be not conformed to this world, but 
be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind'^* — 
" Love not the world, neither the things that are in 
the world. H any man love the world, the love of 
the Father is not in liim.^t He now experienced 
what Dr Chalmers has so happily described as " the 
expulsive power of a new affection." The nobler 

* Romans xii. 2. + 1 John ii. 15. 


love had gained the ascendency over the meaner, and 
expelled its rival from its seat in the heart, which 
thenceforward the Holy Spirit claimed solely and 
entirely for God. 

Some of my readers, in perusing the foregoing 
account, will be involuntarily reminded of the 
similar transformation wrought on Mr Wilber- 
force. It is well known that in early life that 
eminent Christian was the gayest of the gay, and, 
though not a vicious man, was remarkable for his 
wit and his distinction among the fashionable circles. 
And yet a single perusal of the New Testament 
was so blessed to him, that he became thence- 
forth a new man. The witty songster, " the joy and 
crown of Doncaster races," became the Christian 
senator, and the abolisher of the slave trade. But 
while the resemblance holds true in regard to the 
greatness of the change, it differed in the manner 
in which it was effected in the case of Sir An- 
drew, which reminds us still more forcibly of the 
conversion of the Rev. Thomas Scott, as described 
by him in his "Force of Truth." We observe 
the same contrariety to such a change in his ori- 
ginal reUgious opinions — so thoroughly opposed, 
as these were, to the views stigmatized as Cal- 
vinism and Methodism — In his temper and spirit, in 
his high regard to character, " ambitiously fond of 
that honour which cometh from man" — and now, 
as he " verged nearer and nearer to Methodism," 
becoming "painfully sensible that he was drawing 
upon himself the same mortifying distinctions which 


he had been wont, with self-complacency, to hear so 
liberally bestowed on the persons to whom he now 
joined himself." We observe, too, that in Sir An- 
drew's case, as in that of Scott, *' this change in his 
sentiments took place very gradually." Like him, 
he had " no more thought, at first, of becoming what 
the world calls a Methodist, than of turning Ma- 
hometan.'' Like him, he proceeded graduaUy, and 
'^ with extreme caution." He " gave up none of his 
sentiments till the arguments by which he had 
learned to defend them were satisfactorily answered." 
Like him, too, it was by the simple reading of the 
Scriptures that he was led to form his views, un- 
biassed by the influence or authority of man. Gra- 
dually, but irresistibly, as the light streamed in from 
on high, and as his early prejudices gave way, the 
truths of the Gospel, one by one, dropped into their 
right places in his evangelical creed — and, in fine, 
" carried back from the consideration of the effects 
to that of the Cause," and finding "his system 
incomplete without it," "the eternal purpose of dis- 
playing the glory of His mercy and grace in har- 
monious consistency with His most awful justice and 
holiness." * Like Scott, too, he soon became satisfied 
that the system of truth, thus evolved by a candid 
and prayerful study of the word of God, was nothing 
more than that taught by the early fathers of the 
church, sealed by the blood of martyrs, and plainly 
set forth in the articles and homilies of the English 
church, as well as all the other churches of the Refor- 

* Scott's Force of Truth — passim. 


mation; while the opposite views might be traced^ 
theoretically, to some Dutch divines of the seven- 
teenth century, and practically, to a sad declension 
of piety and fidelity in the pastors of the church. 

Hitherto, the change effected on Sir Andrew's cha- 
racter, though visible to all, was not as yet made the 
subject of conversation. Shortly after this, when 
absent from home for a few weeks, seeking in change 
of scene and air to re-establish his health, which had 
suffered partly from mental anxiety during a painful 
domestic occurrence, he fully confesses the change 
to his nearest and dearest earthly relative, in answer 
to a letter he had just received from her: — 

" Dear Madeune, — ^You think too lowly of yourself, 
and far too highly of me. There was a time when your 
praise would have given me unmixed satisfaction ; for 
praise was the attaining of the end for which I sought. 
Propriety was the god of my idolatry; and my partial 
friends gave me credit for being what I wished to be. But 
although ever conscious of my own deficiency, yet the con- 
viction never came with such overwhelming force, as when 
lately deprived of strength both of body and mind, I was 
no longer able to repel the humbling truth From the 
peculiar constitution of my mind, the pecuniary circum- 
stances in which my folly has placed me have been an actual 
afiBiction, which they might not have been to others. But 
at this I do not repine; for it was necessary that the foun- 
dation of sand should be swept away, and that I should be 
trodden to the dust, ere I could effectually seek for help 
where alone it was to be found. While in this state, 
nothing cheered me but dear M.'s letters, with Mr Malan's 
simple interpretation of the doctrine of salvation through 
faith in Christ. By its simpUcity we are startled when in 


health, and even after we have been avowedly healed 
thereby we again questioD its efficacy. But I am now well 
convinced that this alone can avail, when, in sickness or in 
death, human sophistry is put to the test, and exposed in 
all its nothingness. 

" It may be that I am more aUve to such impressions 
when my nerves are weak, as at present; but may not that 
weakness be a necessary means for producing the desired 
effect? And may I not pray and trust that I shall still be 
in the same mind if mercifully restored to strength ? 

'^ Think not that I am unhappy, or under any austerity 
of mind. I never was less so, nor more convinced that 
universal cheerfulness is an essential of true religion. It is 
a great pleasure to me to write thus to you ; and my only 
regret is, that I did not speak more openly with you before. 
You would have liked it, and you would have been of use 
to me. May God bless you and all yours!'* 

In connection with this deeply interesting com- 
munication, and as confirmatory of the views which 
Sir Andrew expresses in regard to the error of 
ascribing such humbling views of our own sinfulness 
in the sight of God to mere weakness of mind or a 
shattered state of the nerves, it may be mentioned 
that^ meeting with a friend about this time, the con- 
versation turned upon the death of a gentleman 
much beloved by both of them — a man who stood 
high in his profession, distinguished by many great 
and amiable qualities, and esteemed by all who knew 
him. Sir Andrew's friend launched out into high com- 
mendations of the deceased ; " and yet," he added, 
^' that man, when on his death-bed, I am told, was 
in the deepest distress of mind, looking back on his 


former life, and taking the most gloomy view of every 
thing-^ if he had been the greatest sinner, and 
nothing could comfort him. Doubtless," he went 
on to say, " the weakness of the body had affected 
that fine mind, and he had not the power to throw 
off the humbUng and gloomy views under which he 
sunk." " Rather,'* was Sir Andrew's reply, " ought 
we not, perhaps, to say that at such a time, when 
viewing all in the new light of a death-bed and a 
coming eternity, things appeared to him iJien in their 
true colours, and he was then in his right mind, as 
he never was before?" "It may be so," the friend 
replied, somewhat awed by the seriousness of Sir 
Andrew's manner; though in reality, like many 
others, what he admired was a Roman death, and 
not the death of the Christian — a headlong plunge 
in the dark, rather than the fearless and hopeful 
" walk through the valley of the shadow of death." 

At this interesting stage in the Hfe of Sir Andrew^ 
we cannot help pausing a moment to express the 
reflections which it is fitted to suggest. Many, no 
doubt, will be ready to think that one who had been 
always so amiable, so upright, and pure, hardly re- 
quired to pass through any process worthy of the 
name of conversion ; and may, perhaps, regard the 
change which we have so described as nothing more 
than the native fruit of good dispositions placed in 
circumstances peculiarly favourable to their develop- 
ment. But we see how differently the case was 
viewed by the convert himself, who, in the above 
extract, evinces a thorough knowledge of his owii 


cliaxacter^ and who must be held best qualified to 
judge of the change it had undergone. He found 
that^ like the young man in the Gospel whom Jesus 
" loved " when he beheld him, and who could boast, 
in regard to the moral precepts of the law, "All 
these things have I observed from my youth," it 
might be said of him, " One thing thou lackest, and 
that, alas ! the one thing needful, for thy heart 
is not right in the sight of God !"♦ He found that, 
like Paul, his moral attainments were quite compatible 
with enmity both to the law as it revealed the evil 
of sin, and to the gospel as it revealed the merit of 
the Saviour, He knew, particularly, how much that 
pride of heart, which he confesses as his constitu- 
tional failing, was opposed to the humbUng doctrines 
of the cross. In this respect, perhaps, more than in 
any other, when we consider how completely this 
principle was crucified and subdued, the case of Sir 
Andrew may be considered as a wonderful monu- 
ment of the power of divine grace. 

!N"or can we fail to observe, when we reflect on the 
sacred character of the work afterwards assigned to 
Sir Andrew, how clearly the wisdom of the Great 
Master appears in preparing his servant for the war- 
fare that awaited him, by inspiring him with that 
divine principle which "worketh by love," and 
" overcometh the world.'* Had he remained devoid 
of true faith, he would never have embarked in the 
cause of God's Sabbath, or would certainly, wanting 
the guidance of that polar star, have made ship- 

• Mark x. 20, 21 ; Acts viii. 21. 


wreck of the sacred vessel. As it was, he is one 
among many proofs, that holy work can only be 
safely entrusted to holy hands. To achieve great 
things in the field of military prowess, of scientific 
discovery, of civil liberty, or political improvement, 
the natural powers of man may be quite competent ; 
but it is otherwise in the field of Christian triumphs. 
On these it is written, '' I will destroy the wisdom of 
the wise, and will bring to nothing the understand- 
ing of the prudent." If ot that we are warranted to 
expect, under the present economy, that any thing 
great can be done in the absence of all suitable 
means. On the contrary, whenever God intends 
to " work deliverance in the earth," we see that he 
raises up instruments qualified, in point of capacity, 
wisdom, and zeal, for the service which he requires 
of them. But the earthen vessel thus designed 
" unto honour," must be " sanctified, and made meet 
for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good 
work." K^atural gifts, in whatever degree they may 
be granted, must pass through the purifying and 
refining alembic of heavenly grace, ere they can be 
used with success in heavenly work. "It pleased 
God, who separated Paul from his mother's womb, 
and called him by his grace to reveal his Son in 
him," before he could "preach him," as Paul 
preached the Son of God, "among the heathen." 
Nor is this principle confined to those who have 
been eminently successful in the ministry of the 
gospel. The examples of Howard and of Wilber- 
force, may be mentioned in conjunction with the 


subject of our memoir, as sufficient to show that, 
even in other spheres of philanthropic labour, more 
adapted to laymen, and only indirectly connected 
with Christianity, the religion of the heart has been 
found the essential element of success; and that even 
those objects which common benevolence taught men 
to aim at, and which the men of the world toiled 
after in vain, the humble child of God has, through 
the power of faith and prayer, been alone honoured 
to accomplish. 

Let me only add, that in the selection of a cham- 
pion of the Sabbath, who boasted no gigantic powers, 
and brandished no formidable weapons of war. Pro- 
vidence seems to teach us emphatically that "the 
battle is the Lord's," and that, in the successful 
issue of this conflict, "no flesh should glory in his 
presence." It was not that, in the person of Sir 
Andrew, divine grace supplied the place of natural 
greatness (for many a merely "good man" would 
have failed in carrying out what he was enabled to 
perform) ; but that the blessing of God descended 
on a range of accomplishments inferior, in point of 
brilliancy, to those that usually catch and fix the 
admiration of the world. The history of the Sab- 
bath controversy has furnished not a few striking 
instances of means, in themselves inadequate, having 
been followed with results which have astonished its 
friends as much as they have confounded its enemies. 
And it is interesting to mark that the honour of 
largely contributing to these results was reserved for 
one who, so far as personal merit was concerned 


could not stand lower in the eyes of others than he 
did in his own, and who delighted to ascrihe the 
whole glory to Him to whom it was due ; — as the 
radiance of the setting sun, while it leaves the lofty 
mountains in deep shade, may be seen resting on the 
humble lake beneath, which reflects it back to the 




Little did Sir Andrew anticipate, at the period of 
his hfe to which we have come, the path into which, 
by the singular providence of God, he was after- 
wards led, when he became the advocate and cham- 
pion of the Sabbath, Brought up in Ireland, and 
in the Church of England, at a time when evangeli- 
cal religion was in a low state, his views, his feelings, 
and his actings, as regarded the Lord's day, were 
any thing but rigid. When he first came to Scot- 
land, he has often related how much he was sur- 
prised, and even amused, at the strict ideas which 
he found prevailing on this subject, and more particu- 
larly what a hearty laugh they enjoyed at the expense 
of one of his Scotch cousins, who was much scanda- 
lized, one Sunday, at overhearing his uncle. Governor 
de Courcy, in the act of whistling. " Oh, Governor ! " 
she cried out instinctively, " you forget." " Forget 


what?" he inquired. "You forget that it is the 
Sabbath-day." "No, indeed; I do not. What 
makes you say so?" "You were whistling a tune, 
Governor," she gravely replied. '^ And what is the 
harm of that?" "Why, no one here does it on the 
Sabbath-day; they only sing psalms." " Then you are 
a very singular set of people" — was the conclusion 
to the colloquy. Scotland has, indeed, been at all 
times singular among the nations for her regard to 
the holy day ; but never, perhaps, was the standard 
of its observance so low among all classes as at the 
period to which we now refer. It is hard to say whether 
the insidious progress of French infidelity at the Revo- 
lution, or the boisterous rage for war which followed, 
had done most to invade the peaceful sanctity of the 
day. Except among the straiter sects of Presby- 
terians, who, identifying themselves with the prin- 
ciples, inherited some portion of the spirit of their 
fathers, the great body of the people, including 
many that were esteemed pious, entertained very lax 
notions on the obligation of the Sabbath, having 
some vague conception that it had been abrogated 
by the milder laws of the Hew Testament. Sir An- 
drew's practice was certainly no exception, at this 
time, to the prevailing course of desecration. That 
command, which afterwards became his watchword, 
" Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy," was 
not then the rule of his conduct. He wrote letters, 
he paid visits, he dined out, he travelled, on the 
Lord's day ; he saw no harm in doing so ; he thought 
every one did the same ; and, from all he saw around 



hini; he had too good reason for the conclusion. As 
the Sabbath was a very common day in Ireland, even 
for commencing a journey, it is not surprising that 
it should never have occurred to him to do other- 
wise than continue his journeys on that day ; nor did 
he remember having had a thought about it, except 
on one occasion, some time before his marriage, 
when, stopping to change horses, after having been 
detained about a quarter of an hour, the landlady, 
ere he started, made an apology for the detention, 
saying that "the postboy had been in church, and had 
had to be sent for." Sir Andrew felt distressed at the 
occurrence. It may have been his benevolence, more 
likely than his conscientiousness, that was touched. 
But he often alluded to it in after life; and it is 
believed it was the first feeling of the kind, con- 
nected with Sabbath observance, that he experienced. 
A similar incident, which occurred several years 
afterwards, on the occasion formerly noticed, of 
George IV.'s visit to Scotland, may be here added. 
Arriving on Saturday afternoon at Glasgow, Sir 
Andrew and his party next day attended the cele- 
brated Mr Chalmers, whom he now heard with 
much delight for the first time. He had fully 
intended to spend the Sabbath in Glasgow ; but, on 
consulting with the landlord, such a representation 
was made of the demand for horses and carriages, 
on account of the King's expected arrival, that it was 
voted " a work of necessity " to proceed that evening 
with such cattle as could be procured. In the course 
of the journey, however, the question was much dis- 


cussed by the party, and before its termination, they 
overheard it decided for them in a way not the most 
agreeable to their feelings. Something having gone 
vnrong with the harness, the party were detained on 
the road till it was repaired ; during which operation 
a few people, returning from church, gathered round 
the vehicle, and a venerable patriarch of the village, 
raising his voice, was heard to say, " Weel ! I kenna 
what gude the country may get from the King's 
visit ; but this I ken, that it has garred mair travel- 
ling on the Sabbath-day than ever I saw in my life 
before." Nothing was said in reply to this ; but the 
reproof was felt, and by none more keenly than Sir 
Andrew. In proportion, however, as he began to 
feel interested in the subject of reUgion, the Lord's 
day gradually assumed in his eyes a holier aspect, 
and, without any specific plan, was naturally more 
devoted to those religious exercises, both public 
and private, in which he now took an increasing 
delight. Ever thoughtful of others, he reduced the 
Sabbath work in his household, though not at first 
to the extent which he afterwards effected. Step by 
step, the Sunday correspondence was dropped. The 
Sunday post bag, first unsent, then unopened, was 
ultimately interdicted. The Sunday visits became 
fewer and farther between, till they fell into desue- 
tude; the Sunday travelling, once the rule, now 
became the exception, and finally the transgression 
of the rule ; till, at last, he gave up all and every 
thing that distracted the mind from the things of 
God, or that in any degree imposed unnecessary 



labour on others. A few simple verses^ not destitute 
of sweetness^ composed about the period at which 
we have arrived, show that he had now come to 
relish the sacred rest of the day. Though never 
intended for the public eye, they are given below, as 
an interesting record of his first feelings on a subject 
which afterwards so engrossed his mind.* 

Still, for several years after his mind had become 
seriously impressed with divine things, it cannot be 
said that his conscience was very tender on the sub- 
ject of the Sabbath. His improved outward observ- 
ance of the day was rather the result of improved 
religious feeling, than of any fixed principle ; and it 
is probable he would have shrunk from any rules on 

• In this thy day of rest, 

O Lord, look thou on me, 
And keep me, Lord of all, I pray, 
From all disquiet free I 

Mine inmost, deepest thoughts, 

In awful mercy probe. 
And from the world's alluring garb. 

My sinful heart disrobe. 

O Lord, I would confess. 

My thoughts do earthward stray, 
And after childish, fleeting toys, 

Doth Satan lead the way. 

Blest Lord, we *re wam'd by thee, 

This marks the carnal mind ; 
The power to raise one upward glance 

In thee alone we And. 

Invited by thy Word, 

Thine own way would I take, 
And, nothing doubting the reply, 

Ask for Lord Jesus* sake. 


the subject, as savouring of Pharisaism or Jewish 
peculiarity. An occurrence, however, which took 
place soon after this, served to give his mind a 
decided bias towards more correct and scriptural 
views of the obligation of the Sabbath on Christians. 
Sir Andrew had been led, some time before, to 
peruse the works of the late Dr M^Crie, particularly 
his Life of Knox, and his celebrated Review of Sir 
Walter Scott's Tales of my Landlord. Both had 
produced a strong impression on his mind, and par- 
ticularly the last, by the entirely new light in which 
it presented to him the character of our covenanting 
forefathers, removing his early prejudice against 
them, and showing that, while valiant for their God 
and stanch to religious principle, they were also made, 
to use an expression of Sir James Macintosh's, which 
subsequently took a deep hold of Sir Andrew's mind, 
** the unconscious founders of our civil freedom." 
One Sabbath afternoon, the 6th of July 1828, while 
at Dairy House, on a visit to his mother-in-law. Lady 
Carnegie, who was a personal friend of Dr M'Crie, his 
curiosity induced him to go to hear, in his character 
as a preacher, the author whose writings he had so 
much admired. Having piloted his way to the 
humble chapel in which the Doctor officiated, he was, 
to their mutual surprise, recognised by the elder who 
presided that day over the plate at the door, his old 
friend Mr John Hay, the planner,* and who, delighted 
and proud that the Baronet should have come to 
hear his minister, directed him to what he called 

* See before, p. 25. 


" the best seat in the church." The service pro- 
ceeded, and the Doctor, opening the Bible, read 
out as his text, Exodus xx. 8 : " Remember the 
Sabbath-day to keep it holy." After adverting to the 
low standard of opinion and practice prevailing on 
this subject, the preacher proceeded to prove the 
antiquity of the Sabbath — an institute coeval with 
creation, and dating before the fall — so that he 
might say he preached unto them " no new command- 
ment, but an old commandment which they had 
heard from the beginning." He next expatiated on 
the morality of the institution, showing that it had 
its basis deep in the moral law. He then went on 
to speak of the reasonableness of the institution — of 
its benevolence — of the duties implied in a right 
observance of the day — of the tendency in man to 
forget the Sabbath, and the various ways in which it 
is violated — of the jealousy with which God watches 
over the sanctification of his own day — and of the 
duty of all, in their several stations, to promote the ob- 
servance of the Sabbath, and, in so far as lay in their 
power, to prevent its profanation. And he concluded 
by contending, on these grounds, for the obligations 
and privileges of the Christian Sabbath as not infe- 
rior to those of the Jewish — by deploring the blind- 
ness and enmity of the men of the world to the 
interests of religion — and by showing the observ- 
ance of the Sabbath to be the glory, and its pro- 
fanation to be the disgrace, of any people.* 

* To gratify the curiosity of some of our readers, we shall give a por- 
tion of this sermoQ in the Appendix. Unfortunately the latter part of 


The curiosity of Sir Andrew was excited by the 
text^ and he felt at first somewhat staggered by what 
he regarded as the very extreme views propounded 
on the subject by the preacher. But he became 
gradually impressed with the force of the scriptural 
arguments advanced, and he went away with a strong 
conviction which never left him, and which grew 
within him into the soUd consistency of axiomatic 
truth, that Sabbath observance is an essential branch 
of morality, and that the fourth commandment is of 
equal obUgation on man with the other precepts of 
the Decalogue. Few can fail to mark the finger of 
an aU-wise and overruling Providence in the singular 
arrangement by which the subject of our memoirs 
was led, as if by the hand, to the place where the 
messenger of God was to " tell him what he ought 
to do." It is remarkable that, among all the preach- 
ers of the day, he should have stumbled on one, as 
his instructor in the doctrine of the Sabbath, who 
was perhaps of all others best prepared, from his 
famiharity with the old school of theology, foreign 
and domestic, to initiate his pupil in the soundest 
and most enlarged views of the subject. It is also re- 
markable, that of all the Sabbaths in the year he should 
have visited Dr M'Crie's chapel when he happened 
to preach on Sabbath obligation and observance, — a 
topic on which, though he may have often touched 
on it incidentally, he never preached expressly more 

it is not to be found among the author's manuscripts ; and it has been 
supplied in the text above from notes taken at the time by one of the 


than perhaps twice during his whole ministry.* And 
it is more remarkable stilly that of all the periods of 
his own life. Sir Andrew should have happened to 
receive this lesson at the very time when, from his 
previous training in the school of Christ, he was pre- 
pared to listen to it with candour ; and when he was 
just about to commence that public career, during 
which he so frequently experienced, amidst manifold 
assaults and temptations, that nothing could effec- 
tually sustain him save the high principle of the 
divine authority of the Lord's day. 

" This incident," says an eloquent writer, advert- 
ing to it at the time of Sir Andrew's death, " seems 
charged with an important lesson, both to ministers 
and to people. It ought to convince the one class 
that, as so very much may depend on a single ser- 
mon, its composition ought to be regarded as no 
light or trivial matter, towards which it may be 
enough to direct mere half efforts of the mind ; and 
to show the other how very important in its results 
a good resolution may prove, when taken in the 
proper spirit, and in reliance on the promised help. 
The determination formed in the humble Presbyte- 
rian meeting-house has led to a struggle whose arena 
is the British empire, and which, whatever reverses 

* There was only one other occasion, so far as I can discover from my 
father's note-books, on which he preached a sermon on the subject of 
the Sabbath. There are a few notes written in 1817, from the text in 
Isiuah Iviii. 13: ''If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from 
doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight," &c. 
And from these words he followed up his discourse in a practical strain, 
on the Sabbath succeeding that on which Sir Andrew heard him. 


it may experience^ is sure of success in the end. In 
Foster's well-known essay, there is not a more re- 
markable instance of decision of character than that 
which this interesting anecdote furnishes." * 

At this stage of our narrative, we may be per- 
mitted, as a token of respect to Sir Andrew's memory 
(and one which he himself, had he anticipated any 
thing of the kind, would have deemed the most 
grateful and appropriate), to state as briefly as pos- 
sible the views which he was now led to entertain on 
this important subject. In common, then, with the 
great body of our reformed divines, and in strict 
accordance with the formularies of the churches of 
both England and Scotland, he embraced the doctrine 
that the Christian Sabbath, instead of being a mere 
church-holiday, resting on ecclesiastical tradition, or 
even a mere religious ordinance, admitting of theolo- 
gical controversy, is a moral duty, based on the eter- 
nal and undebateable law of God. Unlike other reli- 
gious rites, which are of temporary enactment, the 
precept of the Sabbath flows, not from the will 
merely but the very nature of God. It was there- 
fore enjoined at first, in imitation as well as com- 
memoration of God's own rest, when he ceased from 
all the work which he had made. — (Gen. ii. 2.) The 
Sabbath thus dates from paradise, prior to the fall 
of man, and stands on the same level, in point of 
universal and perpetual design, with the institute of 
marriage, the law of human labour, and the charter 

♦ From the Witness of April 21, 1849. 


of man's dominion over the lower creatures. Its 
primary obligation rests, not on the revealed law of 
Moses, nor the remedial law of Christ, but on the law 
of nature. Hundreds of years before it was graven 
on the tables of stone, it was written on the heart 
and grafted on the constitution of Adam. '*The 
Sabbath was made," not for the Jew, nor for the 
Christian, but '* for man." And as it was coeval, so 
it must be held to be coexistent with creation. When 
" the law was given by Moses," therefore, this precept 
was enshrined in the centre of those "Ten Command- 
ments," which stand out in bold relief from all other 
parts of that law, as the divine compend of all mor- 
aUty, and the authoritative standard by which what 
is universally and everlastingly moral, may be distin- 
guished, even in the Bible, from what was ceremonial 
or only of local and temporary obligation. What- 
ever change may have taken place, under the Chris- 
tian economy, on the mode of religious worship, it is 
certain that no change could affect the authority of 
the moral law. Our blessed Lord guards his disciples 
against "thinking" for a moment that he "came 
to destroy the law; " on the contrary, to unfold its 
perfection, as a code of duty, was the favourite 
theme of his ministry, and to secure our obedience 
to it as a rule of holy living, while he delivered us 
from its curse, was the main design of his mission. 
To deny the continued authority of the Decalogue, 
the only infallible test of eternal right and wrong, 
would be to unsettle the very foundations of morality ; 
and such is the indissoluble connection between all 


the parts of this heavenly system, that to pluck a 
single orb from its firmament must endanger aU the 
rest and lead to the ultimate subversion of the whole. 
This is placed beyond all doubt, so far as the fourth 
precept is concerned, from the very opposite conclu- 
sions which have been reached by those who have 
carried out their opinions to their full and legitimate 
results. In the elaborate treatises of our home and 
foreign divines, the vindication of the Sabbath is uni- 
formly associated with a defence of the perpetual 
authority of the Decalogue ; while on the other hand, 
as in the writings of Archbishop Whately, in order 
to invalidate the authority of the Sabbath, it is found 
necessary to set aside the whole Decalogue, as no 
longer binding on Christians.* 

The morality of the Sabbath being thus regarded 
as a fixed point, the circumstances connected with 
the change of the day and the mode of its observance 
become fair subjects of theological discussion. And 
here the opinions of some of our refonned divines, 

♦ See Whately On the Difficulties in the Writings of St Paul, pp. 
185-191. It is not so generally known as it should be, that Archbishop 
Whately actually holds the abrogation of the whole moral law of the ten 
commandments I He has, in fact, though quite unconsciously, fallen 
into the very error of Antinomianism which he had undertaken to re- 
fute. With singular simplicity, not to speak of logical infelicity, after 
setting aside the law, he would substitute the Christian principles of love, 
gratitude, &c., as the standard of Christian duty. In other words, he 
confounds the motives of Christian obedience with the rule w^hich these 
motives enable us to obey! The Antinomians, who never disclaimed 
the principles of Christianity, though they discarded the law as the rule 
of Christian life, would cert^nly have claimed Dr Whately as a convert ; 
as the ancient Socinians and Anabaptists would have joined with him in 
depreciating the Decalogue. 


particularly Luther and Calvin, have been by many 
supposed to differ from those held by the churches 
in our land. But their substantial agreement in the 
doctrine of the Sabbath, as an institution of moral 
and perpetual obligation, however they may have 
varied in their mode of advocating it, has been clearly 
demonstrated.* Luther maintains that '^ the Sabbath 
was, from the beginning of the world, appointed to 
the worship of God ; " and Calvin, though he may 
not have expressed himself on all occasions so guard- 
edly as to avoid the semblance of self-inconsistency, 
finds, " in the example of God a perpetual nde for 
all ages among men." The main point of difference 
between our divines and those of the Continent, lies 
in the latter holding the fourth commandment to be 
partly moral and partly ceremonial. If I may be 
allowed to state my own views of the difference in 
question, I should say that the sentiments of our 
foreign divines arose, partly from their opposition to 
the superstitious observance of saints' days in the 
Romish church, and partly from feeling the neces- 
sity of reconciling the morality of the Sabbath with 
the strong language employed by the apostles in 
reference to the Judaical distinction of days. To this 
source we may clearly trace the strong language oc- 
casionally used both by Luther and Calvin. At the 
same time, none plead with more force of reasoning 
for the universal and perpetual morality of that day, 

* See particularly, << The Real Optnions of the Most Eminent Re- 
formere regarding the Sabbath," by the Rev. Patrick Fairbaim, Minister 
of Salton — a treatise of great research and unanswerable force. 


both on the ground of its primitive institution in 
paradise^ and its place in the Decalogue. 

It may, I think, be granted with safety, and it has 
been shown with much force of reasoning, that the Sab- 
bath, in passing through the hands of Moses, assumed 
something of the typical or shadowy character of that 
dispensation. In particular, as given to the Jews, the 
mere bodUy resting may have had a prospective 
meaning, prefiguring the Christian rest, and as such 
the day may have been considered as kept holy 
merely by abstinence from bodily labour. Hence 
the term Sabbath, or rest, became peculiarly distinc- 
tive of the day as a Jewish hoUday. Under Christ, 
when all shadows were abolished, it became neces- 
sary that this peculiar character, incidentally stamped 
on the Sabbath, should cease ; but, the morality of 
the day still remaining unchanged, Christianity 
merely restores it to its primitive design, as a day, 
not of mere bodily, but of holy resting. Abstinence 
from ordinary labour is still enjoined, but enjoined 
mainly to afford opportunity to devote the time thus 
rescued from the world, to the worship and service 
of God.* Viewing the matter in this light, we can 
easily reconcile the strong statements of Paul in re- 
gard to the abohtion of the Jewish Sabbaths, with 
his equally strong assertions of the perpetual moraUty 

* Such are the views of the question which have been so ably advo- 
cated by Marcky a distinguished theologian of the University of Leyden, 
who flourished in the beginning of last century. — {Scriptur. Easercitatio- 
n€$f Pars iv. Exod. xx. 8-11). In another treatise on Matthew, 
xxiv. 20. — ** Pray ye that your flight be not on the Sabbath-day " — ^he 
argues that this must have been the Jewish Sabbath, and that the term 

94 SIR Andrew's motto. 

of the Decalogue. And it affords^ at the same time^ 
a satisfactory reason for the change of the day from 
the seventh to the first. As circumcision^ though 
intended at firsts when given to the patriarchs^ as a 
seal of God's holy covenant^ assumed a legal character 
under Moses^ and therefore gave place to baptism; 
so the Sabbath^ having acquired under Moses a legal 
character^ it was fittingly transferred, to mark the 
change of dispensation, from the Jewish day to the 
Lord's day. 

Although, however, at all times ready to listen to 
such defences and explanations of the sentiments en- 
tertained by our foreign divines, it is but fair to men- 
tion that Sir Andrew was not disposed to place much 
weight on them. With characteristic independence 
of mind, he would waive all such discussions, and say, 
'^ Let Calvin and his opinions go to the winds, and 
let us stand on the authority of God's law." He 
was always much impressed with the peculiar phrase- 
ology of the command, '' Remember the Sabbath-day 
to keep it holy" The word Remember, peculiar to 
this precept, dwelt on his mind with singular force.* 
And he would frequently remark, that the command 
was not simply to remember to keep holy the 
Sabbath, but to remember the Sabbath in order to 

Sabbath is never applied in Scripture either to the seventh day when first 
instituted, or to the first day of the Christians. He yields, in short, a 
number of the positions taken up by the enemies of the Christian Sab- 
bath, and yet demonstrates, on the most incontestable grounds, the per- 
petual and universal obligation of the fourth commandment. 

* He even had a seal engraven with the favourite motto Remembkk, 
with which all his dispatches on the Sabbath cause were endorsed. 


keep it holy ; for it is only by keeping this day in 
remembrance all the week that we can make such 
arrangements as duly to sanctify it and keep it holy.* 
The strikingly rich and judicious comment on this 
word, which is given in the Larger Catechism of the 
Scottish Church, he would often quote with high 
admiration.f And when dealing with the members 
of the Church of England, he seldom failed to remind 
them that every one of them had, before being ad- 
mitted to the Holy Communion, on their bended 
knees, heard the fourth commandment solemnly 
repeated by the minister, and had with their own lips 
audibly responded to it in these words : " Lord have 
mercy on us, and incline our hearts to keep this law." 
The foUowing remarks, found among his manu- 
scripts, express, in Sir Andrew's own language, and 
in language most judicious and precise, his senti- 
ments on this subject, indicating the ruling principle 
which guided him in his course through life, and 

• Letter to the Rev, William Lecke of Brailsford, by Sir Andrew 
Agnew, Bart., M.P., p. 4. 

t ^ The word Remember is set in the beginning of the Fourth Com- 
mandment partly because of the great benefit of remembering it, we 
being thereby helped in our preparation to keep it, and, in keeping it, 
better to keep all the other commandments, and to continue in thank- 
ful remembrance of the two great benefits of creation and redemption, 
which contain a short abridgment of religion : and partly because we 
are very ready to forget it, for that there is less light of nature for it, 
yet it restraineth our natural liberty in things at other times lawiul ; 
that it cometh but once in seven days, and many worldly businesses come 
between, and too often take off our minds from thinking of it, either 
to prepare for it or to sanctify it ; and that Satan, with his instruments, 
much laboui* to blot out the glory and even the memory of it, to bring 
in all irreligion and impiety." 


more especially in his Sabbath warfare : — " The pre- 
cepts of morality — ^that is, the moral law of the Deca- 
logue—are the appointed restraint upon the univer- 
sally evil propensities of the fallen race, and are 
necessarily repulsive, until men are re-transformed 
to the image of God by the renewing of their minds. 
And when any such are created in Christ Jesus unto 
good works, to righteousness and true holiness, it is 
not that any new revelation has been made to them 
for their rule of life, nor yet that their system of 
morality is now vague and undefined, but rather that 
the propensity is changed — ^the moral law has become 
congenial by the influence of the Holy Spirit. Their 
morality is at one with His who bruised the head of 
that old serpent, who first beguiled them to trans- 
gress, and perverted or inverted the mind of the man 
originally created in the image of God, the author of 
the moral law. And those of whom it was empha- 
tically said, ' There is none righteous, no, not one ! ' 
now having their understandings opened to under- 
stand the Scripture, can delight in the law of God 
after the inner man, and can echo the words of Him 
whose name they bear, * I delight to do thy will, O 
my God ; yea, thy law is within my heart.' " 

The principle of Sabbath observance having been 
thus settled in his convictions, it only remained that 
Sir Andrew should be set right in the matter of 
practice; and an incident which occurred shortly 
after the time we now speak of, taught him a lesson 
which he did not speedily forget. When engaged 


in his canvass for Wigtounshire, he was accompanied 
by a dear and much valued relative, whose unobtru- 
sive modesty forbids us to mention him by name. 
On Sir Andrew's determining to go to Manchester, 
where some of the electors then resided, his arrange- 
ment was to get to that town by the mail which 
reached it early on the morning of Sunday. The 
urgent necessity for immediate interviews with these 
voters, appeared to him fully to justify this slight in- 
fringement of the Sabbath. Not so with his pious 
relative, who having spent much of his time on the 
Continent, and witnessed the sad effects of Sabbath 
desecration there, had learned, what too many of his 
countrymen have there unlearned, to prize the strict- 
est obedience to the holy commandment. He at 
once declined that part of the plan, and mildly put 
it to Sir Andrew, that even admitting that the circum- 
stances did establish a case of necessity, as regarded 
the candidate for a seat in Parliament, they could 
not by possibility justify a private friend in making 
himself a travelling companion during any part of 
the Sabbath-day. Sir Andrew at once owned the 
reasonableness of his friend's objections, and admired 
the conscientiousness that dictated them; and, 
yielding to his example, the two agreed to spend the 
Sabbath together as a day of rest and privilege at 
Kendal, which the mail reached at midnight. They 
did so, and Sir Andrew seemed greatly to enjoy the 
refreshing break which it made in the occupation 
which had lately engaged them. The day was spent 
in a quiet and profitable way ; and as, by starting 


again at midnight, they reached Manchester to break- 
fast, no time was actually lost in the business they 
had on hand. Frequently, in conversation with his 
friend afterwards, he would refer to this circumstance, 
as that which, in the providence of God, pra^ically 
prepared him to appreciate the rest of the Sabbath 
for himself, and to consent, when afterwards called 
upon, to introduce a measure to secure the same 
blessing for others. 

But another and sharper kind of discipline awaited 
him — ^that of domestic affliction. Hitherto, through 
the goodness of God, death had not entered his 
dwelling. Four sons and three daughters had been 
given him, when, in January 1830, the beginning of 
the year in which he first entered Parliament, the 
first breach was made. Suddenly, and without pre- 
monition, the unwelcome messenger came and carried 
off the youngest of the family — a lovely and favourite 
daughter, Elizabeth, nearly two years old. At 
twelve o'clock, noon, while her father was absent on 
business at a neighbouring town, she was seized with 
a fit, and in a few minutes all was over. On his re- 
turn in the afternoon, he could hardly credit the sad 
intelligence, till on going into the chamber of death 
he saw the remains of the little one, whom, but a few 
hours before, he had left, as he thought, in her usual 
state of health. A letter hastily written after the 
event to his two eldest sons, who were at school 
in England, will describe, better than we can, his 
feelings in this hour of bitter trial. It may be men- 
tioned, that on the evening of the same day which 


proved the last to his Elizabeth^ another daughter 
was added to the family. 

** LocHVAW Castlc, February 6, 1830. 

" My Deabest Andrew and John, — ^You will, I am 
sure, be very happy to get another good report of your dear 
mamma and her baby. We have very much — many bless- 
ings — to thank God for, and more especially at this mo> 
ment, when reHeved from most pamful apprehensions ; for 
had not your dear mamma been wonderfully supported, 
what might not have been the consequences of the shock 
she received at such a critical moment, by the loss of our 
sweet Uttle Elizabeth ! It is our prayer to be resigned to 
our loss, and to be thankful for what we are permitted to 
retain. It has always been my desire to feel that my chil- 
dren, whether in the next room or in the next kingdom, are 
aUke under a more efficient protection than I can spread 
over them. In this mstance, my insufficiency to protect was 
most strikingly brought home. I left the dear baby looking 
as well as usual in the drawing-room, for the purpose of 
going to Portpatrick. The carriage not being quite ready, 
I walked up and down the terrace, making thus a delay of 
a few minutes ; and I have ascertained that, before I entered 
the carriage, my child was no more — although I was igno- 
rant of it for four hours thereafter ! " 

Afflictions seldom come single. Another blow 
was at hand. The child, born in the house of mourn- 
ing, and baptized in remembrance of the departed 
by the name of Madeline Elizabeth, was soon to 
follow her little sister. After Sir Andrew's election, 
and soon after he had taken his seat in Parliament, 
in N^ovember 1830, he received the news of his 
second loss. His reply breathes the resignation of 
a chastened spirit. "My dearest M.," he says to 


his sorrowing partner, " our grief is for ourselves, and 
not for our sweet dear that is gone where I firmly 
believe we should all better be, if such were our 
Father's will, than in this, our place of trial. It is 
mj comfort to think that you can look on things 
invisible as though they were present to our mortal 
sense, and in simplicity say, ' Thy will be done ! ' I 
could have wished to have been permitted to see 
your sweet Uttle likeness again — ^but I trust I am 

How few enter on pubUc Ufe better prepared for 
meeting its conflicts and temptations! And how 
wisely kind does the heavenly Master appear in lay- 
ing His chastening hand on His servant, ere He sent 
him into his peculiar sphere of public labour ; thus 
eUciting those graces which spring from affliction, 
and which he was soon called upon to exercise — 
meekness, patience, and hope of " a better country, 
that is, an heavenly," where the trials of time shall 
be swallowed up in the peacefulness of an eternal 
Sabbath ! 




At an early period of his life — so far back as 1816 
— Sir Andrew had felt and expressed a laudable 
ambition to serve in Parliament as the representative 
of his native county. Various causes now combined 
to induce him to undertake this responsibility. The 
representation of Wigtounshire had been held by 
more than one of the ancestors of the family. His 
connections insured him no small influence. He had 
been appointed, in November 1828, to the office of 
Vice-Lieutenant of the county ; and, by his habitual 
attention to county afiairs, had recommended himself 
to the freeholders, and more especially to Lord Gar- 
lies, afterwards Lord Galloway, the Lord-Lieutenant 
of Wigtoun, whose powerful family influence was 
cordially given to forward his prospects. When, 
therefore, on the accession of William IV., a writ 


was issued for a new election, he resolved, on the 
retirement of Sir William Maxwell, to start in oppo- 
sition to James M'Douall, Esq., yomiger of Logan. 
At this period, when the Duke of Wellington and 
Sir Robert Peel were at the head of aflfetirs, Eoman 
Catholic emancipation had but lately passed into 
law; and the next question expected to occupy the 
attention of ministers was that of Parliamentary 
Reform. As regards the former question, Sir Andrew 
always felt pecuUarly thankful that it had been de- 
cided before he entered ParUament. Averse, from 
natural temper, to any thing wearing even the sem- 
blance of persecution, or of imposing civil disabilities 
for religious opinions ; believing, with many others, 
that the Romish section had become greatly modi- 
fied with the advancement of the age ; judging of 
the system from those of its adherents with whom 
he had come in contact — ^many of them the beloved 
companions of his youth, and " all honourable men," 
and seeing no cause of alarm for the cause of Pro- 
testantism, he was persuaded that had he been then 
in Parhament, he must have voted for the measure. 
The Romish Church wore, in those days, a particu- 
larly bland and beseeching aspect ; as far removed 
from the grim ferocity of former times, as from 
the arrogant pretence of its present attitude. ISor 
had any symptoms as yet appeared of that alarming 
movement towards Rome which has since been made 
within the Church of England. It was, therefore, 
with feelings approaching to devout thankfulness 
that Sir Andrew reflected, in after Ufe, that he had 

"a moderate reformer." 103 

not been called to take any active part in furthering 
a measiure which, on maturer thoughts, he saw was 
fraught with danger to the British constitution, the 
glory of which he was led to consider as lying in the 
fact that Protestantism — another name with him 
for Christianity — ^is incorporated with its very exist- 
ence, and that the sovereign of these islands claims 
the allegiance of her subjects in virtue of being a 
Protestant Queen. 

The main political question, therefore, on which he 
required to take his ground was that of Reform. On 
this subject. Sir Andrew gloried in ranking himself as 
a " Moderate Reformer." The necessity of some re- 
form in the representation, was firmly impressed on 
his mind. Fond of geography, he enlisted it in the 
service of pohtics. To exhibit, in a palpable form, 
the absurd inequaUty with which the elective fran- 
chise was distributed, and the necessity, arising from 
the altered state of the country, for a more equitable 
apportionment, he constructed two maps of England, 
showing, at a glance, the places where members of 
Parliament were closely clustered, while large towns, 
such as Manchester, which had grown into existence 
since the representation was adjusted, were entirely 
left out ; and at the same time pointing out the in- 
tended changes. These maps, drawn up originally 
for his own satisfaction, "just," as he said, " to enable 
any one to take a bird's-eye view of the whole sub- 
ject," were afterwards printed and circulated among 
the members of Parliament, and they were considered 
by some leading men on both sides highly useful in 



giving a distinct and tangible idea of the field on 
which the political campaign was to be conducted. 
At the same time, not from any personal attachment 
to the interests of the aristocracy, but from a patri- 
otic feeling that these interests were closely bound 
up with those of his country, he was unwilling to see 
a sweeping disfranchisement of those boroughs which 
had long enjoyed the privilege of sending representa- 
tives to Parliament. On the same principle that, 
while extending his accommodation at Lochnaw, in 
a style more suited to later ideas of convenience, he 
retained the ancient castle, with its old-fashioned 
nooks and turrets, sadly out of proportion as they 
looked beside the modern structmre, " I could much 
wish," he says to one of his correspondents, "that 
the reformers had, like you, resolved to repair an old 
house, keeping up all hereditary associations, those 
seeds of patriotism, instead of striving to erect a new- 
fangled structure." With these sentiments, though, 
upon the whole, friendly to the government of Sir 
Bobert Peel, and anxious that he and his associates 
should introduce the measure of reform, he deter- 
mined to keep himself independent of all parties, and 
leave himself at liberty to vote according to his con- 
scientious convictions. 

Holding these principles. Sir Andrew, after a can- 
vass, in the course of which he received the most 
flattering reception, and after securing the interest 
of Lord Garlics, the Lord Lieutenant of the county, 
together with many others, who manifested towards 
him the most friendly feelings, oiTered himself as a 


candidate for the representation of Wigtounshire, 
and was unanimously elected, on the 18th of August, 
1830. The following account of the election, taken 
from a cotemporary newspaper, may be interesting 
to our readers : — 

" Wigtotm, ISth August, — Our election began and ended 
yesterday in the unanimous return of Sir Andrew Agnew, 
of Lochnaw, Baronet Though a contest was expected, none 
took place. Captain M'Dowall, younger of Logan, had a 
numerous body of friends, but he resigned the contest at the 
eleventh hour, much, I daresay, to the disappointment of 
those who, in these piping times of peace, are fond of seeing 
a little political fun. 

" Still we had visitors from all quarters; and as the hour 
of business arrived, the court-house was crowded to suffoca- 
tion. After the usual forms, Sir James Dahymple Hay was 
called to the chair, and Mr Agnew appointed clerk to the 
meeting. The roll was then pinged, and the names of the 
two new freeholders added to the list Stair Hathom Stew- 
art, Esq., proposed Sir Andrew Agnew as a fit and proper 
person to represent the county of Wigtoun in Parliament 
Forbes Hunter Blair, Esq., in seconding the motion, briefly 
adverted to the high character and qualifications of the can- 
didate. He who now sought to represent the county, repre- 
sented an ancient and most respectable family, and had long 
been distinguished for the zeal with which he labours to 
promote every thing connected with the prosperity of Wig- 
tounshire. That zeal he will, no doubt, carry with him into 
a higher arena, as well as that prudence and propriety of 
purpose which are the surest guarantee of wise and efficient 
l^islation. His talents, principles, and attainments, are 
known to you all; his integrity is undoubted, his assiduity 
imdeniable. From intimate personal knowledge, and careful 
observation of his conduct and character, I feel confident he 


will prove a valuable member of Parliament; and, both on 
public and private grounds, feel great pleasure in offering 
him to your acceptance, by seconding the motion that has 
just been made. 

"The roll was then called, and Sir Andrew declared 
unanimously elected. In returning thanks, he addressed 
the fireeholders in a neat and feeling manner. His grateful 
acknowledgments were not only due to his own friends, but 
to those who had started in opposition, and who, throughout 
the contest, had conducted themselves in such an honourable 
and gentleman-like manner. But it might be asked, what 
were his political principles ? What his sentiments on the 
great questions that were likely to occupy the attention of 
Parliament ? Here he could only answer generally, that he 
would support the crown. To the present administration 
he was favoiurably disposed, but still he would not pledge 
himself to any specific line of policy. He would vote with 
ministers when their measures seemed calculated to promote 
the public weal, and against them should they deviate, or 
appear to deviate, from what he must call the golden rule 
of all upright and patriotic statesmen. (Cheers). He was 
proud of the high honour conferred on him, the important 
trust confided to his charge, and would endeavour to dis- 
charge its duties faithfully. Again he thanked the free- 
holders cordially and sincerely, and would at all times feel 
the greatest pleasure in conciliating their esteem, and con- 
sulting their wishes. 

" Out of doors, the populace manifested the utmost enthu- 
siasm in fisivour of the worthy baronet, and on his re-appear- 
ance on the streets, he was compelled, by gentle force, to 
enter his carriage, which was drawn in triumph round the 
square of the town, amidst shouts of applause that were 
literally deafening."* 

• Dumfries Courier, August 1830. 



Sir Andrew entered Parliament in the autumn of 
1830^ and for some time contented himself with sur- 
veying the state of parties. The following lively 
picture of the House gives his early impressions of 
it, and his views of the policy of ministers : — 

" The House of Commons is an extraordinary scene. At 
times it appears inextricable confusion, and then again order 

and method appear. Messrs H and O are most 

wearisome, because incessant. If they are not speaking 
themselves, they are the subjects of the speeches of other 
people. It can never for a moment be forgotten that these 
two vulgar men are in the House. They pervade every 
thing; they are indefatigable, warm, but weighty speakers. 

is the most disagreeable being I ever beheld His 

fiendish smile and discordant voice correspond. His inces- 
sant *Hear, hear!' is the most jarring soimd I ever heard 

" The misfortune is that there are few aaimated speakers 
on the ministerial side of the House. Sir Robert Peel does 
the labour of Hercules, but he is not adequately supported. 
By much the most severe attacks the two have received have 
been from members sitting beside them. 

" The state of parties is any thing but satisfactory. The 
speeches of the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel on 
the first night were at variance. The Duke protested 
against all reform; Sir Robert made a speech which leaves 
him free to do any thing which he may find expedient. So, 
those who are most desirous of supporting the Government 
in this hour of need, feel that they may be left in the liuch 
to-morrow. There is every appearance of a desire to give a 
powerful support to ministers, if they would only make up 
their own minds to indicate what should be done."* 

In the close of this year. Sir Andrew having re- 

• To Lady Agnew, November 16, 1830. 


quested the opinion of Dr Chalmers regarding the 
bill for removing Jewish disabilities^ received the 
following highly characteristic reply : — 

"Edinbu&gh, December 31, 1830. 

" Dear Sir Andrew, — ^Were I a member of Parliament, 
I should vote for Mr Grant's motion; but I would not have 
originated the motion myself, feeling that, in the present 
instance, there was no urgent or practical necessity for the 
measure, and that without such necessity it is not expedient 
to offend the reHgious scruples of a great many in our land, 
even though I cannot share in them. 

" While upon this subject, may I be permitted to state, 
that I never felt more shocked at any public exhibition than 
that reported to have been made in the House of Commons, 
on Mr Percival's notice of his motion for a General Fast It 
is felt by many here, and by myself among the number, that 
the indecent levity wherewith the notice was received, is a 
more fearful sign of the times than all the incendiarism of 
the soutL The motion may be rejected, and more especially 
on the ground of public prayers having been ordered; but 
I do hope that it will be solemnly and respectfully enter- 
tained, and that a spectacle so appalling will not be offered 
as that of a legislature dissociating God from the manage- 
ment of his own world, and practically disowning him as the 
Governor amongst the nations and families of the earth. 
The appearance of such an infidelity as this in our high 
pla.^ carries in it, to my apprehension, an aq.ect of far 
gloomier foreboding to our land, than all the crime and all 
the political violence which are now abroad among the 
people. I have the honom* to be, dear Sir Andrew, yours, 

most respectfully, 

" Thomas Chalmers." 

Sir Andrew was soon destined to encounter, in his 
own person, the virulence of this " infidelity in our 


high places," against which Dr Chalmers pointed his 
honest and well-merited rebuke. For the present, 
however, his mind was chiefly occupied with the all- 
engrossing subject of parliamentary reform. 

On a new Parliament being summoned, he again 
offered himself to the constituency of Wigtounshire, 
in May 1831. Adhering to the independent course 
which he had chalked out for himself, he had de- 
clined, though strongly solicited, to vote on the divi- 
sion which, in November 1830, issued in the retire- 
ment from office of the Duke of Wellington and the 
Conservative party. He did so because he regarded 
it as a factious vote, and not involving principle. But 
the Whig ministry having come into office, he con- 
sidered it his duty to vote for the Beform Bill, re- 
serving to himself the liberty of proposing modifica- 
tions on it in committee. On this occasion, his 
friend, the Honourable Montgomery Stewart, having 
withdrawn from the contest in his favour, he was 
opposed by Mr Hathorn of Castlewigg, who appeared 
on the Conservative side. As usually happens in 
times of poUtical excitement. Sir Andrew found that 
his moderate and independent policy exposed him 
to suspicion and misconstruction from both of the 
extreme parties into which men were then divided. 
He felt himself in the predicament of the poet — 

** In moderation placing all my glory. 

While Tories call me Whig, and Whigs a Tory." 

On the one hand, "Mr M. Stewart (inadvertently no 
doubt) represented him to have stated that he would 
not support the measure of reform, unless important 


modifications were made ; whereas Sir Andrew de- 
clined giving any pledges whatever^ either on the one 
side of the question or the other^ and claimed^ if ad- 
mitted to the honour of a seat in the new Parlia- 
ment, the same freedom of opinion which he had 
exercised in the old.*' On the other hand, in answer 
to the circular of his Tory opponent, he finds it 
necessary to state — " In my correspondence with my 
constituents, I have always endeavoured to explain 
the nature of the qualified support which I have 
given to that measure. To the English Bill alone, I 
have given a qualified support. I voted for the 
second reading (whereby it is admitted that the 
important question of reform is virtually carried in 
the affirmative — that which remains for consideration 
being rather matter of detail), having been convinced 
that the time was come when the subject of reform 
must be entertained, and seeing no method so effec- 
tual for a right understanding of details, as a full 
discussion in a committee of the whole House : 
keeping myself free to exercise my humble judgment 
by voting for or against the third reading, as in the 
circumstances might seem most conducive to the 
public weal." 

On Monday, therefore. May 16, 1831, the county 
election took place, under circumstances of extraor- 
dinary excitement. The contest ran very close. *' In 
the morning," we are informed, " all was anxiety and 
uncertainty on the part of the two candidates ; and 
it was not till the arrival of Mr Stewart Mackenzie 
of Seaforth, who had posted it from Edinburgh, and 


arrived in Wigtoun a short while before the hour of 
meeting; that Sir Andrew's hopes of success were at 
all sanguine. Mr Blair^ of Blair^ was anxiously looked 
for by Mr Hathom ; and, had he arrived and not Mr 
Mackenzie, Mr Hathorn's return would have been the 

How small and apparently trivial are the incidents 
(not undesigned by Heaven, though unmeditated by 
man) on which the most important issues frequently 
depend ! Had Mr Mackenzie's post-horses been 
somewhat less expeditious, or had Mr Blair's been 
a little less tardy. Sir Andrew's career in Parlia- 
ment might have terminated with his first session, 
and the Sabbath might have looked as vainly for its 
advocate in St Stephens, as Mr Hathom for his sup- 
porter on the hustings. 

Sir Andrew having been proposed by Mr Stewart of 
Physgill, and supported by Sir J. Dalrymple Hay, the 
other candidate was proposed by Mr Carrick Moore, 
who took this opportunity of expressing — as far as 
he was allowed, amidst the hootings and uproar of 
the crowd — ^his astonishment to find that, '^ instead of 
supporting the Duke of Wellington, as he had given 
them reason to expect. Sir Andrew had joined the 
ranks of his political enemies — ^men whose admiration 
of every thing French knew no bounds. He was as- 
tonished to find, the representative of the county of 
Wigtoun a staimch supporter of a reform biU which 
had been framed from a French model and on French 
principles ! " The preses having declared the state of 
the vote to be 17 to 16 in favour of Sir Andrew, the 


successfiil candidate^ in returning thanks^ repeated 
his resolution to go into Parliament free and un- 
fettered by any pledges; frankly confessing that it 
had been his desire to support his Majesty's govern- 
ment^ but declaring his disappointment at finding 
the Duke opposed to all reform ; and now, though 
at first surprised at the sweeping measure proposed 
by the new ministry, he had voted for it, in the hope 
that, after fair discussion and due modification, it 
would be passed into a law. "It may be safely 
said," observes a contemporary print, " there never 
was such a day as Monday seen in Wigtoun before ! 
Early in the forenoon, carriages came pouring into 
town from all quarters, and pedestrians without 
number from the neighbouring towns. The con- 
stabulary force were in attendance, to preserve peace 
among the many thousands present — a precaution 
judged prudent from the reports of disturbances at 
other elections, but which was happily unnecessary, 
the multitude having behaved in the most orderly 
manner. When the result of the contest was made 
known, the cheering from all quarters was enthusi- 
astic. Sir Andrew was chaired in the usual manner 
after the election; and it must have been highly 
gratifying to the honourable baronet, after the 
fatigues of his protracted and arduous contest, to 
witness the unbounded joy and satisfaction so uni- 
versally expressed at his return." 

IsTothing struck those who witnessed this scene so 
much as the becoming spirit in which the contest 
was conducted. " How nobly," exclaims one of them, 


"the candidates behaved to each other!" The 
gentlemanly and Christian bearing of Sir Andrew, in 
particular, during the whole of this and his other 
contests for the representation, elicited the warmest 
praise. One who had the best opportunities of ob- 
serving his private as well as public demeanour, 
during these exciting conflicts, has said — " I cannot 
account for the meekness, the forgivingness, the ^br- 
bearingness exemplified by Sir Andrew, on any other 
ground than the prayerful spirit in which he engaged 
in all the affairs of life ; and on those occasions of 
more than ordinary excitement and trial, he drew 
largely from the Fountain of his daily supply. His 
invariable practice was never to allow any of his own 
supporters to speak disrespectfully either of his op- 
ponents, or of those landlords or their factors that 
were opposed to him. And when the election was 
over, although it was difficult for his supporters, and 
those connected with him in the contest, to get over 
the unpleasant feelings engendered on these occa- 
sions, no one could know by Sir Andrew that he had 
been opposed." Another, who acted as his agent 
on three of the occasions on which he was returned 
to Parliament, says — " I am sure that, as a conscien- 
tious, disinterested, and high-principled gentleman, 
he went to Parliament unfettered by party feeling ; 
discharging his important duties with perfect inde- 

The first occasion on which Sir Andrew took an 
active part in the business of the House, was on 16th 
July 1831, when he rose and moved in the commit- 



tee the following amendment on the Refonn Bill : — 
*^ That the boroughs enumerated in Schedule A shall 
have a share in the election of a member or membere 
to serve in Parliament, as hereinafter provided/' 
After remarking that now was the time when mo- 
derate reformers, who had been thrown overboard 
by the right honourable baronet, were called on to 
come forward, he, with great modesty, proposed his 
scheme. " His amendment would, he thought, do 
an act of justice which the bill at present did not. 
The plan he should wish to see adopted would, in 
point of fact, assimilate the English system of bor- 
oughs to that of Scotch and Welsh boroughs. With 
regard to the nomination boroughs, it had been said 
that his plan, if agreed to, would have the effect of 
throwing them into the hands of borough proprietors. 
There he conceived his opponents to be in error; 
because, by his pLan, the boroughs which would be 
joined for the purposes of election would have an open 
constituency, and, by those means, he apprehended 
the power of the borough proprietors would be dimi- 
nished, not increased. In Cornwall, instead of six 
boroughs, make six districts ; extend the district sys- 
tem through England, eking out the constituency of 
boroughs too small to return members (without the 
risk of incurring that partiality which had been more 
than insinuated) by adding, not the surrounding 
parishes, but the neighbouring towns or large vil- 
lages, as may be found expedient." 

In the debate which followed on this amendment, 
he was supported by Sir Robert Peel and other 


members of the Opposition; who, under the influence 
of very different motives, advocated Sir Andrew's 
clause, in the hope of defeating the design of the 
bill. " I admit," said Sir Robert, " that I am not a 
strenuous supporter of the amendment of the hon- 
ourable baronet, but I accept it as a lesser evil. It 
is an alternative offered me, and I shall follow the 
course pursued by all statesmen, and of two evils 
adopt the less." Sir Andrew, at the close of the 
debate, vindicated his consistency in moving this 
amendment with his former vote for the reading of 
the bill. " I consider," he said, " that the consoli- 
dation of the boroughs would be comparatively easy, 
as the experiment has been already successfully 
practised in Scotland ; and that my vote for the dis- 
franchising clause is not at all incompatible with the 
opinion I now express on the subject of consolidation, 
and with the communications I have already held 
with the right honourable baronet." The amend- 
ment, however, was strenuously opposed by the 
Government, on the ground of its being inconsistent 
with the principle of the bill, and was lost by a ma- 
jority of 316 to 205.* But though the Reform Bill 
was a larger measure than he desired, he felt it his 
duty to vote for it, on the principle that reform was 
necessary, and that whatever defects might attach to 
the bill, further delay was unwise and unsafe. His 
name, therefore, appears in the list of the majority 
which carried that important legislative measure. 
The longer he lived, he saw cause to rejoice in having 

• Mirror of Parliament, July 15, 1831 ; pp. 600-612 

116 SIR Andrew's third election. 

lent it his support, and to be satisfied with the wis- 
dom of giving to the middle classes — ^generally speak- 
ing, the soundest portion of the community — that 
share of political influence which they had learned 
to value, and were entitled to possess. 

Being as anxious as my readers can be to leave 
these political details, and bring forward Sir Andrew 
in his proper sphere, I shall merely add, that on the 
writ being issued for the first reformed Parliament, 
Sir Andrew again presented himself to the same con- 
stituency, on the 8th December 1832, and was a 
third time elected without a dissentient voice, the 
other candidate, Mr Carrick Moore, Junior, of 
CorswaU, having retired before coming to the poll. 
On this occasion, his address to his constituents 
manifested the same indomitable firmness and inde- 
pendence as he had shown before the measure of 
reform was carried. Having acknowledged the 
honour, enhanced by his being the first member re- 
turned for the county by a popular constituency, ho 
said : — 

'* I have represented you in Parliament before; and what- 
ever opinions may be entertained of my conduct there, I 
have the approbation of my own conscience that I have en- 
deavoured to do my duty to the best of my humble ability. 
I liave never courted the favour of any man ; I will not seek 
to gain the favour of his Majesty's government ; I may say 
conscientiously, gentlemen, I will never seek even your 
favour by any undue means, — ^knowing that the best way of 
sening my country, and of meriting your approbation and 
support, is by turning neither to the right hand nor to the 
left, but by pursuing a straightforward course. On looking 


back upon my conduct in Parliament, and upon every vote I 
have given on the very vast and important matters that have 
come under my consideration, I feel satisfied that I have 
acted up to the best of my judgment; so much so, indeed, 
that were the same interesting and overwhelming train of 
events again to occur, and every vote again to be demanded 
of me, I would act precisely as I have already done. I am 
a fiiend to the interests and property of my country, and in 
every thing I am most anxious to keep pace with the rapid 
improvement and increasing intelligence of the age we live 
in ; having a due care always, however, to maintain and up- 
hold the fi:umework of the constitution. I return my most 
heartfelt thanks for the kindness which has every where 
been shown me during my canvass, particularly in not ask- 
ing of me pledges. I disapprove of pledges, and had they 
been asked of me, I would not have given them; and I 
stand before you an unpledged member."* 

It was not till after the passing of the Reform Bill 
that Sir Andrew was led, in the providence of God, 
to interest himself in, and to advocate, a far higher 
reform — a reform in the morality, not in the repre- 
sentation, of the people — a reform to the effectuat- 
ing of which the Saviour has attached an honour 
higher than that which earthly kings can give, or 
worldly politicians receive : " Whosoever shall break 
one of these least commandments, and shall teach 
men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom 
of heaven : but whosoever shall do and teach them, 
the same shall be called great in the kingdom of 
heaven." Sir Andrew had entered Parliament in 
1830, and it was not till 1832 that he became ac- 

♦ Dum/riea Courier, December 1832. 


quainted with what good men in London, particu- 
larly in connection with the Lord's-Day Society, had 
been doing to arrest the growing evil of Sabbath 

With his native lowliness of mind, he took 
every opportunity of disclaiming the honour of hav- 
ing originated the movement in favour of Sabbath 
observance. " I would distinctly disclaim," he says, 
in February 1835, "however gratifying it might be 
to me to appropriate to myself, the honour of hav- 
ing revived, in this age, the discussion of the claims 
of the Lord's day ; which, in the words of the Bishop 
of Calcutta, is ' one of the grandest practical topics 
upon which we are now called to treat.' The Bishop 
of Calcutta himself did much to pave the way for 
our present efforts, by preaching, in the year 1827, 
and afterwards publishing, seven sermons on the 
^ Divine Authority and Perpetual Obligation of the 
Lord's Day.' These sermons assisted to overthrow 
many of the loose notions which were afloat, by bring- 
ing before the public eye, not merely the views of 
the Bishop of Calcutta, but the collective views and 
opinions of the old and best divines upon the subject: 
and in drawing attention to this work, I do not hesi- 
tate to acknowledge myself personally indebted to 
its pages." * Before the publication of these excel- 
lent sermons, the attention of the English public was 
still more pointedly called to the subject of Sabbath 
profanation, by Dr Blomfield, Bishop of London, 

* A Letter to the Friends of the Sabbath Cause. By Sir Andrew 
Aj^new, Bart., M.P., February 1835, p. 3. 


whose mind had been shocked by the scenes of 
depravity and ungodliness which he had witnessed 
both in the country and in the metropoHs, and by 
the fearfully rapid increase of Sabbath desecration 
throughout the land. In 1830, he published a 
letter, addressed to the inhabitants of London and 
Westminster, "On the Present S^eglect of the 
Lord's Day."* The unusualness of such a mode 
of address, coming from one occupying so high a 
station, and enjoying so much respect, — ^l)ut, above 
all, the startling disclosures which the writer made 
of the prevalence of Sabbath profanation in the 
metropohs, and the fidelity with which he uttered 
his warnings and admonitions to all, and especially 
to the higher classes of the community, had the 
effect of turning general attention to the question. 

Eoused by these forcible exposures and timely 
warnings, the public mind was prepared for active 
measures to meet the exigency ; and the first evi- 
dence of an awakened spirit was the formation of 
several societies, in the metropolis and elsewhere, for 
the purpose of remedying the crying abuses, which 
none attempted to deny or to vindicate. The most 
important of these, was the " Society for Promoting 
the Due Observance of the Lord's Day." This society 
(which has been distinguished from all the other asso- 
ciations for a similar object by the high scriptural 
position which it assumed at its very commencement, 

* A Letter on the Present Neglect of the Lord's Day. Addressed to 
the Inhabitants of London and Westminster. By G. J. Blomfield, D.D., 
Bishop of London. Seventh Edition, 1830. 


and which it continues to maintain to the present day, 
existing as it still does in full operation, while other 
societies, which took lower ground, have ceased to 
exhibit any symptoms of vitality) was formed " at a 
meeting held on the 25th of January 1831, at the 
house of Mr Joseph Wilson, Clapham Common, for 
the purpose of considering what means could be pro- 
perly adopted for lessening the great evil of Sabbath- 
breaking, and for restoring, under the blessing of 
God, a due reverence for the divine authority and 
practical duties of the Lord's day." To the Rev. 
Daniel Wilson of Islington, afterwards Bishop of 
Calcutta, whose praise is in all the churches, and to 
his excellent brother, Joseph Wilson, Esq., there can 
be no hesitation in ascribing the commencement in 
good earnest of this great work.* The fundamental 
principle on which the society was based, is expressed 
with that beautiful succinctness of phrase which 
marks the Bishop's pen, in its first resolution : " That 
this meeting is firmly persuaded that the dedication 
of one day in every seven to religious rest and the 
worship of Almighty God, is of divine authority and 
perpetual obligation, as a characteristic of revealed 
religion during all its successive periods; having 

* From the orig-inal minutes, it appears that the persons present at 
this meeting were as follows : — ** Rev. Daniel Wilson (afterwards Bishop 
of Calcutta), Rev. Henry Blunt^ Rev. W. C. Wilks, Sir George Grey, 
Bart., Henry Maxwell, Esq., M.P., Messrs John Bridges, R. J. Cham- 
bers, John Deverell, W. M. Foster, Alex. Gordon, Thomas Hankey, 
John Poynder, William Roberts, J. M. Strachan, Benjamin Shaw, J. 
M. Standen, Percivitl White, and Joseph Wilson.*' Another meeting was 
held by adjournment on Tuesday, February 8, 1831, when the resolu- 
tions on which the society was constituted were agreed to. 


been enjoined upon man at his creation — recognised 
and confirmed in the most solemn manner in the 
Ten Commandments — urged by the prophets as an 
essential duty, about to form a part of the institu- 
tions of the Messiah's kingdom — vindicated by our 
divine Lord from the unauthorised impositions of 
the Jewish teachers — transferred by him and his 
apostles, upon the abrogation of the ceremonies of 
the Mosaic law, to the first day of the week, in com- 
memoration of the resurrection of Christ, and on 
that account called the Lord's day — and finally 
established, in more than all its primitive glory, as an 
ordinance of the spiritual universal church of the 
New Testament, and a standing pledge and foretaste 
of the eternal rest of heaven." In their fourth 
resolution, the society express the sentiment which 
opened the way to those proceedings in Parliament, 
of which Sir Andrew became the leader: "That this 
meeting is persuaded that it is the paramount duty 
of a Christian nation to confess its allegiance to 
Almighty God, and its faith in a Divine Redeemer, 
by honouring, in every proper manner, this solemn 
institution; by encouraging, amongst all classes of 
persons, the due observance of its sanctity ; by 
making the most ample provision for the public 
worship of God; by discoilraging and repressing 
open inroads upon its sacred duties; by inserting 
suitable guards for its observance, wherever neces- 
sary, in new Acts of Parliament ; by providing for 
the suppression of outrageous offences ; by reviving 
and amending the statutes which have become obso- 


lete and inefficient ; and by doing every thing in its 
power to defend, mildly and firmly, the Christian 
Sabbath from open violence and desecration, so as 
not to interfere with the conscience of individuals in 
their private and retired sentiments or conduct, or 
to attempt any thing beyond that protection of this 
fundamental institution of revealed religion, which 
it is the province of a Christian legislature to 

We have given these resolutions at length, as they 
serve completely to exculpate Sir Andrew from the 
charge so frequently brought against him, that he 
was actuated by Scottish prejudices, and aimed at 
forcibly imposing on England " the Scotch Sabbath.'* 
So far from this being the case, the movement was, 
from its very outset, a strictly English one. It 
emanated from the heads of the English Church. 
"The Lord's-Day Society" was composed chiefly of 
clergymen and laymen of that Church ; and the 
resolutions we have now given, which embody the 
principle of all the bills which Sir Andrew afterwards 
brought before Parliament, were unanimously adopted 
by them long before he was entrusted with their 
advocacy. In truth, it was English feeling, aggrieved 
by the profanation of the English Sabbath, that 
prompted these efforts to revive the observance of 
the holy day; and though Sir Andrew was fully 
prepared to sympathise with them, the idea of em- 
ploying legislative measures for this purpose was 
first suggested to him by his friends of the Church 
of England. The same remark applies, as may be 


afterwards shown, to the provisions in the bills them- 

The first annual meeting of The Lord's-Day 
Society was held at Exeter Hall, on Monday, May 
14, 1832, the Right Reverend the Bishop of Calcutta 
in the chair. In their report, after adverting to 
what they had already done, the committee ex- 
pressed themselves " deeply convinced of the neces- 
sity of some alteration in the existing laws relative 
to the Sabbath;" and stated that several of their 
members, conversant with the laws of the country, 
had devoted much time and close attention to an 
accurate revision of all the existing statutes, in the 
hope that defects which had rendered many of them 
obsolete might be remedied, and such new measures 
submitted to the legislature as the circumstances of 
the age required. The meeting, therefore, came to 
a resolution, lamenting "that, though the law of 
the land is founded upon Christian principles for the 
protection of the Lord's day, it has, in process of 
time, become wholly ineffectual ; and it is therefore 
resolved that a petition be presented to each House 
of Parliament, praying the legislature to take the 
matter into its most serious consideration, and with 
a view to amend the laws on the subject." In pro- 
secution of this resolution, the committee solicited a 
meeting with such members of ParUament as might 
be thought friendly to their object ; and it appears 
that, so early as June 1832, their eyes were directed 
to Sir Andrew, by the late Sir Thomas F. Buxton, 
who pointed him out as the fittest person for the 


honourable and laborious post of the leadership of the 
question in Parliament.* At the same time, vigor- 
ous measures were taken to procure petitions to Par- 
liament. The consequence was, says Sir Andrew, 
that, " in the session of the year 1832, many petitions 
had been presented to Parliament, and some influen- 
tial members of the House of Commons had given 
their opinion, that it would be expedient to endeavour 
to obtain a select committee for the purpose of investi- 
gating the manner in which the Lord's day was ob- 
served, before my attention was called to the subject^' f 
Little expecting that the lot was to fall upon him. 
Sir Andrew was induced to accompany a deputation 
of the committee to certain members of the House, 
who, they thought, might consent to prosecute their 
object in Parliament. Sir Thomas Baring was 
applied to, but he declined, not intending to offer 
himself again for a seat in Parliament. They appHed 
next to Sir Robert Inglis, who likewise refused the 
honour of taking the lead in this question. Whether 
they then appHed at once to Sir Andrew, we are 
not certain ; but the deputation had been empowered 
to secure his services, in the event of their not pre- 
vailing on Sir Thomas Baring. + The application 

♦ We are indebted for this fact to Andrew Johnston, Esq., the son- 
in-law of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, who, he adds, ** had always a 
great regard and high esteem for Sir Andrew, and steadily upheld him, 
though not going quite his length on the subject/' 

t Letter to the Friends of the Sabbath Cause^ p. 4. 

X The secretary reported that, in consequence of a communication he 
had received from Sir Thomas Baring, he summoned a deputation from 
the committee to meet some of the friends of the society^ m^nbers of 


-was made to him by the worthy secretary, Mr 
Joseph Wilson ; and we have his own repeated tes- 
timony to the fact, that it was with the utmost 
reluctance that he consented to comply with the 
request. He felt that, could they have obtained 
it, an English member of Parliament would have 
been more suitable; and, in his genuine modesty, 
he thought many others would have been much 
better qualified for the delicate and arduous service. 
While he shrunk from the apparent presumption of 
undertaking what others of higher influence and 
longer standing in the House had declined, he was 
fiilly conscious of his deficiency in those brilliant 
gifts which enable their possessor to triumph over 
such disadvantages, and in those oratorical accom- 
plishments which secure attention to the advocate, 
at least, though they may fail in advancing the 
'interests of the cause. But the love of God and of 
his Sabbath pleading hard within, overcame his 
scruples ; he resolved to yield to the solicitations 
of his friends ; and, at the risk of all the obloquy and 
disdain which an unpopular, because a holy conflict, 
might bring on a champion who came into the field 
unfurnished with the spear and shield of ordinary 
warfare, he boldly adventured himself, with such 

the House of Commons, upon the subject of presenting the society's 
and other petitions, when it was resolved that the petition should be 
presented to the House of Commons on Wednesday the 20th (June), 
and that Sir Thomas Baring, or^ in case of his not being able to be pre- 
sent. Sir A, Agnew, should move for a select committee of the House 
to receive evidence upon the present inefficient state of the Sabbath 
laws."— 3f.S\ MimUes of the LordCs^Day Society, July 16, 1832. 


weapons as he had, in the front of the enemy, per- 
suaded that " the battle was the Lord's." Return- 
ing home from these fruitless negotiations, he retired 
jaded and weary to bed, thinking over all the diffi- 
culties they had found in prevailing upon any to 
give himself to this service. Suddenly, between 
sleeping and waking, a strong impression seemed to 
take hold of his mind : — " You yourself must be the 
man — you must undertake the work !" He started 
up, and prayerfully considering the matter, he came 
to the resolution, that if all others declined the work, 
he would not shrink from it. It was conscience 
deciding the point in spite of nature ; and from that 
moment he felt himself devoted, in soul, mind, and 
body, to the cause of the Sabbath. 

^^It was with much reluctance," he afterwards 
wrote, '^ that I undertook a task for which I felt my 
incompetence ; but, unfortunately, honourable mem- 
bers possessing the requisite talent and influence, 
while they were desirous to promote the cause, were 
yet deterred by the multiplicity of other business by 
which their time was occupied. This was and is to 
me matter of painful regret, in as far as the cause 
has suffered thereby ; although, on my own account, 
I can but rejoice in the privilege of having been a 
fellow-labourer in it." 

" When urged," ho says, in the pamphlet formerly 
noticed, " to undertake the superintendence of the 
question in the House of Commons, I acceded to 
the solicitation not without much reluctance. Pecu- 
liar circumstances called me to the performance of a 


duty from which it did not become me, on personal 
considerations, to shrink ; and a considerable num- 
ber of individuals, eminent for their piety, as well as 
distinguished for their talents, earnestly requested 
me to take the task upon myself, and proffered me 
assistance towards its accomplishment. It was not 
for me to plead inability or inconvenience. The 
providence of God seemed to place the matter in my 
hands, through the instrumentality of individuals of 
high character and sound judgment, and I could 
not, in conscience, refuse to acknowledge it. Under 
other circumstances, I would have been happy to 
have promoted the same object in the humblest and 
most subordinate manner. But having been thus 
led, in the good providence of God, to put my hand 
to the plough, however unskilfully the work may 
have been performed, I trust that I may never com- 
mit greater injury by looking back."* 

* Letter to the Friends of the Scibbath Cawe, pp. 4, 5. 




On the 28tli of June 1832, Sir Andrew, pursuant 
to the notice he had given, rose to move in the House 
of Commons " that a select committee be appointed 
to inquire into the laws and practices relating to the 
observance of the Lord's day." The motion, in con- 
sequence of the lateness of the hour, was postponed 
to Tuesday, July 3d, when Sir Andrew renewed it; 
expressing, in a brief speech, his hope that the noble 
lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Althorp) 
would accede to the motion, as " there were reasons 
of justice, as well as reasons of policy, and of a still 
higher kind, wliy the laws relating to this subject 
should undergo revision, with a view to their practical 
enforcement." The Chancellor, who had been pre- 
viously consulted, made no objection to the ap- 
pointment. Several members, however, manifested 
considerable suspicion of what might be meant by 


the " practices " which were to be made subject of 
inquiry; and a well-meant, though inopportune re- 
mark, which fell from Lord Sandon, to the effect that 
" the recreations of the rich affect themselves only, 
whilst the recreations of the poor affect society in 
general," drew forth some of those commonplace 
objections on which the changes were afterwards rung 
so often and so loudly, and which, like the pattering 
of the few heavy drops that precede the thunder- 
shower, betokened the angry storm that awaited 
the mover of the obnoxious measure. Sir Andrew, 
in reply, regretted that the debate should have turned 
upon the amusements of the poor. It was no part 
of his intention, he said, to confine his inquiries to 
them ; but he stood to his original motion, and the 
committee was appointed accordingly. The mem- 
bers of this committee, whose names are given below, 
comprised most of those who, at that period, were 
distinguished in the House for their advocacy of 
religion in its connection with legislation.* We may 
here take occasion to remark, that the number of those 
thus distinguished, and generally known by the name 
of ^^ the religious members " of Parliament, was at 

* The following committee was appointed: — Sir Andrew Agnew 
(chairman), Sir Thomas Baring, Mr Fowell Buxton, Mr George Lamb, 
Sir Robert Peel, Mr Briscoe, Mr Evans (of Leicester), Lord Ashley, 
Mr Stanley, Mr Goulburn, Sir Robert Inglis, Mr Littleton, Mr Andrew 
Johnston, Mr Leiroy, Mr Alderman Hughes, Mr Alderman Venables, 
Mr Mackinnon, Sir George Murray, Lord Viscount Morpeth, Mr 
Pringle, Mr Sinclair, Mr J. G. Gordon, Mr Charles Calvert, Mr George 
Byng, Mr Saddler, Lord Viscount Sandon, Mr Alderman Thomson, and 
Mr Ruthven ; &ye to be a quorum. To these was afterwards added 
the Honourable Granville Dudley Ryder. 



this time small in comparison to what it is now, and 
that they were in the habit of meeting for religious 
exercises before engaging in the business of the 
House. These happy reunions were held for some 
time in the rooms of Mr Andrew Johnston, then 
M.P. for St Andrews, at Manchester Buildings, near 
the Houses of Parliament. They commenced about 
nine o'clock in the evening, at which time the mem- 
bers of the little band, exchanging significant looks 
with each other, known only to the initiated, as they 
retired, met to join in exercises which refreshed their 
spirits after the turmoil of debate, and prepared them 
for the arduous duties of ParUament even more than 
the comfortable cup of tea which refreshed their 
bodily frames. Here, amidst the labours that ha- 
rassed, and the contumelies that tried them, this 
select company, which included the names of some 
of the leading members of Parliament, sought and 
found, in united supplications and thanksgivings to 
their God, that strength, encouragement, and union 
of heart, of which they stood so much in need.* ISot 
long ago, a gentleman, hearing for the first time of 
these social prayer-meetings, held by members of the 
House of Commons, lifted up his hands and eyes in 
astonishment, and said to his informant, " Oh, Sir ! 
you must record this, ere you die, to the glory of 
God. Do not let it remain unknown or unacknow- 

* Among those who were regular in their attendance on these meet- 
ings, besides Sir Andrew and Mr Johnston, we may be permitted to 
mention the names of Sir George Sincl^r, Mr Plumptre, Sir Thomas F. 
Buxton, Sir John Dunlop, Mr J. H. Balfour, and Mr Chisholm. 


ledged^ as the secret source whence Sir Andrew and 
other good men drew their strength, their wisdom, 
their meekness, and perseverance in the good cause." 
Having procured his committee, Sir Andrew lost 
no time in setting it to work. Appointed on the 
3d, it commenced its investigations on the 6th of 
July; and the report, with the minutes of evidence, 
was ordered to be printed on the 6th of August 
1832. Few can have any idea of the amount of 
personal labour and anxiety incurred by Sir Andrew 
in collecting this evidence, and arranging the facts 
elicited in the coiurse of examination. *' In truth," 
he says at this time, "I have been worked like a 
\ cart-horse for the last few weeks." " There he sat," 
says his firiend, Mr Andrew Johnston, " often alone, 
day after day, patiently taking down and sifting the 
evidence supplied by our indefatigable secretary (Mr 
Joseph Wilson). One Sunday, at this time, we walked 
together through the * ISew Cut ' at Lambeth, to see 
the Sabbath desecration there with oiur own eyes. 
The Slavery Committee was sitting at the same time, 
and I was rather divided between the two; but as 
Mr Buxton had one or two coadjutors, he used to 
let me go to act aide-de-camp to Sir Andrew. The 
investigations of this committee proved most im- 
portant, as well as interesting. Nothing could ex- 
ceed Sir Andrew's earnest perseverance and fidelity 
to his object. He loved the Sabbath, and heartily 
pitied those from whom its blessings were withheld. 
He was clear and discerning in his inquiries, and the 
result was the publication of such a body of facts as 


greatly aroused the country ; so that, in the next 
session, our hands were full of petitions. The 
partisans of the Sabbath were strengthened by com- 
bination at this time in the little evening tea-party 
which I had the happiness to originate. We met at 
nine o'clock, and though our members came from 
various sections of politics, yet we met as brothers on 
such questions as his. He was a most regular atten- 
dant, took his share in our Scripture readings, and 
often expressed himself cheered and encouraged by 
the fellowship and sjrmpathy elicited." 

To give any thing approaching to an abstract of 
this valuable document, which extends to 306 pages, 
would exceed our limits. Suffice it to say, the la- 
bours of the committee were directed to three grand 
objects. First, to disclose the amount of the evil of 
Sabbath desecration in all its prevailing forms ; se- 
condlt/y to prove the general desire of persons of 
different trades and occupations to obtain for them- 
selves the benefit of the Sabbath rest ; and, thirdly , 
to show the inefficiency of the existing laws, either to 
prevent that evil, or to secure that benefit. The first 
of these objects was accomplished through the tes- 
timony of various witnesses of unimpeachable credit 
— clergymen, magistrates, merchants, and commis- 
sioners of police— all of whom bore witness to the 
wide-spread desecration of the Sabbath, with its 
accompanying mischiefs, especially in the metro- 
polis. A more appalling spectacle of human de- 
pravity, on a large and systematic scale, has seldom 
been brought to light. It was as if a curtain had 


been lifted up, revealing to the eyes of the Christian 
public, as to those of the ancient prophet, the scenes 
of abomination done in the midst of Israel. Let us 
imagine whole districts with open shops, trafficing 
in all manner of wares as on a week-day — ^markets 
thronged with purchasers through the whole day, 
*' more like fairs than markets," scenes of confusion 
and uproar to which the bustle of any other day of 
the week was comparative quietude — ^Saturday night 
" pay-tables," established in public-houses to tempt 
the tradesman to spend his earnings in liquor '^ for 
the good of the house," while his poor wife, with an 
infant in her arms, going in search of him to pro- 
cure sustenance for the family, finds his means 
exhausted, and is fain to drown bitter reflection in 
the intoxicating cup — whole rows of gin-shops and 
public-houses pouring out their lava-streams of de- 
bauchery in the morning, at the very hour of divine 
service — ^wretched men, and more wretched women, 
reeling through the streets, with such horrid looks 
and disgusting language, that the decent inha- 
bitants durst not take their families to church with 
them — five hundred steamboats, filled with shoals 
of gaily-dressed Sabbath-breakers, plying on the 
Thames — the parks crowded with fashionable car- 
riages—while, on the roads leading from London, 
the grand attraction to multitudes on this day was 
" to see the gentry going to ISTewmarket" — the 
said gentry playing at cards all the way, venting im- 
precations on the tardy hostlers and their jaded 
horses, or in a fit of passion scattering the imple- 


ments of their unholy pastime on the road. Besides 
these gross nuisances^ let us add others less offensive 
to puhlic decency, though not less productive of evil 
— ^that " moral dram-shop" the Sunday newsroom, 
the Sunday tiewspapers, the Sunday tea-gardens and 
concert-parties — ^which the hand of legislation can- 
not reach; and we have the picture of a London 
Sabbath, differing very little from a Parisian. This, 
however, was only subsidiary to the next object of 
inquiry, which was to ascertain at whose expense all 
this Sabbath desecration was carried on. To afford 
the needful supply to this wide-spread traffic and 
recreation, multitudes must necessarily have sacri- 
ficed their Sabbath rest. And here the combined 
testimony of bakers, butchers, poulterers, fishmon- 
gers, bargemen, hackney coachmen, and others, 
clearly established the fact, that multitudes, in every 
trade and line of life, who, through iniquitous or 
merely thoughtless customs, were obliged to labour 
on the Lord's day, earnestly longed to be emanci- 
pated from their Sabbath slavery, and felt all the 
degradation thereby incurred, besides the moral and 
religious loss sustained by themselves and families. 
With all who gave evidence, the desire was strongly 
expressed, to have such alterations in the existing 
laws, as should protect them from unnecessary toil 
on the sacred day. Generally speaking, the masters 
seemed as desirous as their men for the entire rest 
of the Lord's day, by means of some protective mea- 
sure, that would effectually close all business, and 
not leave the conscientious at the mercy of the 


unprincipled, who, by opening tlieir shops, and ac- 
commodating not only their own customers, but 
those of their neighbours that were shut, too fre- 
quently secured their custom during the whole week, 
in return for the unrighteous compUance. Among 
these victims to the Moloch of Sabbath desecration, 
who might say in sober earnest what the poet sings 
in sport, 

" Even Sunday shines no Sabbath day for me," 

Sir Andrew's sympathy was particularly attracted by 
the sad case of the London bakers, whose day of 
rest from a laborious and unhealthy occupation had 
been cruelly and needlessly invaded; and who, after 
working fourteen or sixteen hours every day in the 
week, were compelled to work nine hours on the 
Sabbath, chiefly in cooking hot dinners for a certain 
class, few of whom went to any place of worship. 
Seven thousand journeymen petitioned the House 
to be brought under the protection of law; vehe- 
mently prot^ting against the idea, that their labour 
afforded any accommodation to the respectable or 
church-going population. And the committee, in 
recommending their case, strongly pleaded " that no 
sound principle could justify the law in refusing to 
protect one class of society against being compelled 
to sacrifice comfort, health, religious privileges, and 
conscience, for the convenience or enjoyment of any 
other class." 

As the investigation advanced. Sir Andrew's own 
mind became more and more impressed with its im- 
portance. He had no idea, when he commenced it, 


of the deep and absorbing interest which the question 
possessed^ or of the vast variety of points in which it 
affected the best interests of society. He used to 
remark, what he for the first time observed, that 
there were to be met with, as regarded the Sabbath, 
" various shades of conscience," none of which were 
to be despised as too low to be wrought upon. In 
the first class were those who, when they saw the sin 
of the laboiu* done by themselves or imposed on 
others, showed at once the decision of their views and 
the strength of their faith, by giving up all their 
worldly advantages, gained at the expense of the 
Sabbath, and cheerfully submitting to the conse- 
quences of their conscientious regard to the holy 
commandment. Several cases of this kind, deeply 
interesting in their histories, came to Sir Andrew's 
knowledge ; showing that the God whose honour 
they consulted, and on whose promises they reUed, 
did not fail them. Others, again, while their con- 
sciences gave them no rest, day nor night, for con- 
tinuing their Sabbath traffic, had not the moral 
courage, or could not see it their duty, to peril their 
worldly all and the interest of their families by 
desisting from it; though these were the very men 
who were most anxiously pressing for some legisla- 
tive remedy, and giving it all their support. A third 
class he discovered, still lower in the scale of con- 
science, who seemed to be contentedly labouring on 
the Sabbath, thinking only of the bread that perish- 
eth; and yet, he would say, under all this apparent 
indifference there was a secret consciousness of sin 


and degradation. One Sabbath^ while the select 
committee were sitting, and before the introduction 
of the Sabbath Bill, which made the subject so no- 
torious, walking near a place on the Thames where 
the bargemen ply their vocation, one of them accosted 
him with peculiar earnestness, pressing him to take 
his boat. Sir Andrew shook his head, and was passing 
on, when the man called out after him, " Here have 
I been all day at my work, breaking the Sabbath, and 
not a single gentleman has employed me; it is very 
hard!" Besides these three classes, there is no 
doubt another, composed of godless persons, who 
have succeeded in stifling the voice of conscience; 
and another, lower still; who glory in their shame, 
and openly scoff at all laws, human and divine. But 
few, comparatively, have reached this last stage of 
moral deadness and prostration. With the mass of 
mankind, the secret promptings of the inward moni- 
tor, like the faint throbbings of the heart, indicate 
the presence of something that may be fostered into 
life; and Sir Andrew, whose experience had taught 
him never to despair of such cases, manifested as 
much skill in mental physiology as reliance on the 
almighty agency of grace, when he appealed — as he 
uniformly did, in his advocacy of the Sabbath claims 
— to the natural principle of conscience in the human 

The inquiries of the committee were somewhat 
relieved from their monotony by the interesting evi- 
dence of Dr John Richard Farre, of London. This 
eminent and venerable physician, who, we rejoice to 


say, still lives in the active discharge of his profes- 
sional duties, pointed out, with a forcible earnest- 
ness, as the result of long experience, the danger 
arising to human life from continuous exertion and 
over-excitement, unrelieved by the mental and bodily 
rest of the seventh day. 

" If I show you," he said, " from the physiological view of 
the question, that there are provisions in the laws of nature 
which correspond with the divine commandment, you will see 
from the analogy that ' the Sabbath was made for man,' as 
a necessary appointment. A physician is anxious to preserve 
the balance of circulation, as necessary to the restorative 
power of the body. The ordinary exertions of man run 
down the circulation every day of his Ufe ; and the first 
general law of nature by which God (who is not only the 
giver, but also the preserver and sustainer of Ufe) prevents 
man fix)m destroying himself, is the alternating of day with 
night, that repose may succeed action. But although the 
night apparently equalizes the circulation well, yet it does 
not sufficiently restore its balance for the attainment of a 
l(mg life. Hence, one day in seven, by the bounty of Pro- 
vidence, is thrown in as a day of compensation, to perfect by 
its repose the animal system. You may easily determine 
this question, as a matter of fact, by trying it on beasts of 
burden. Take that fine animal, the horse, and work him to 
the full extent of his powers every day in the week, or give 
him rest one day in seven; and you will soon perceive, by 
the superior vigour with which he performs his functions on 
the other six days, that this rest is necessary to his well- 
being. Man, possessing a superior nature, is borne along by 
the very vigour of his mind; so that the injury of continued 
diurnal exertion and excitement on his animal system is not 
so immediately apparent as it is in the brute; but in the 
long-run he breaks down more suddenly. It abridges the 


length of his life, and that vigour of his old age, which (as 
to mere animal power) ought to be the object of his preser- 
vation. I consider, therefore, that in the bountiiul provision 
of Providence for the preservation of human life, the Sab- 
batical appointment is not, as it has been sometimes theo- 
logically viewed, simply a precept partaking of the nature of 
a political institution, but that it is to be numbered amongst 
the natural duties — ^if the preservation of life be admitted 
to be a duty, and the premature destruction of it a suicidal 
act This is said simply as a physician, and without refer- 
ence at all to the theological question/' 

On the last topic of inquiry, the grand practical 
point aimed at by all their inquiries — namely, the 
inefficiency of the existing laws, and the necessity of 
further legislation — the evidence adduced by the 
committee was irresistibly conclusive. Owing to the 
change in the value of money, the old penalties had 
become nearly nominal. Some Sunday traders 
"openly mocked at them," offering to pay the 
magistrates six months in advance, to save the 
trouble of informations, and boasting that their 
gains were so large on Sunday mornings that they 
could "easily afford to pay five shillings out of 
them." The committee, therefore, did not suggest 
to the House any new principle of law, but only 
recommended that the existing enactments against 
Sunday marketing, and against the improper use of 
houses of public entertainment, should be rendered 
operative by increasing the penalties. In general, 
they recommended a revision and amendment of the 
laws for the observance of the Sabbath. They had 


found it proved, they said, that Sunday labour was 
generally looked upon as a degradation, and that in 
each trade, in proportion to its disregard of the 
Lord's day, was the immorality of those engaged in 
it. The objects to be attained by legislation they 
held to be : " First, a solemn and decent outward ob- 
servance of the Lord's day, as that portion of the 
week which is set apart by divine command for 
pubUc worship; and next, the securing to every 
member of the community, without any exception and 
however low his station^ the uninterrupted enjoyment 
of that day of rest which has been in mercy provided 
for him." At the same time^ they distinctly dis- 
claimed all idea of enforcing the religious observance 
of the Sabbath by civil penalties ; observing that " it 
is one thing to force the conscience of a man, and it 
is another to protect his civil liberty, of worshipping 
God according to his conscience on the Lord's day, 
from the avaricious or disorderly encroachments of 
his unconscientious neighbour." For already had 
the absurd report been propagated, that the com- 
mittee proposed that men and women should be 
driven by constables into their parish churches. 

In fine, the committee, after acknowledging " the 
obligations of legislators to promote, by all suitable 
means, the glory of God, as well as the happiness of 
those committed to their charge," declare in conclu- 
sion, that " there are abundant grounds, both in the 
Word of God and in the history of past ages, to ex- 
pect that his blessing and favour would accompany 


such an endeavour to promote the honour due to his 
holy name and commandment."* 

The evidence related chiefly to London and its 
neighbourhood, the late period of the session pre- 
cluding the possibility of a more extended inquiry. 
Three gentlemen from Scotland, however, who had 
previously given much attention to the subject, were 
fully examined ;t and from their evidence it appeared 
that, even in that country, once distinguished for its 
reverence to the Sabbath, glaring abuses had begun 
to prevail, and that, owing to the same causes, toge- 
ther with an unhappy clause in the licensing act, the 
state of the law required revision there as well as in 

Though Sir Andrew had done nothing more than 
to have originated and conducted the inquiries which 
issued in the production of this valuable report, with 
its body of evidence, he would have conferred a lasting 

* Report from Select Committee on the Observance of the Sabbath- 
day, with the Minutes of Evidence, a^id Appendix. Ordered by the 
House of Commons to be printed, 6th August 1832. 

t These were, the Rev. Dr (now Principal) Lee, Edinburgh; the 
Rev, Dr Duncan Macfarlane, Renfrew ; and James Bridges, Esq., W.S. 
Sir Andrew was anxious to secure the testimony of Dr Chalmers ; but the 
Doctor being then engaged on his Bridgewater Treatise, writes (July 18, 
1832) to " implore that, if at all possible, he may be exempted from at- 
tendance on the committee at London." The office of Moderator of the 
Qeneral Assembly " made a cruel encroachment" on the time necessary 
for the completion of his work, and " a single week of interruption will, 
I fear," he says, •* completely overset me." He adds — ^* I further feel it 
right to mention, that there is no subject on which I feel myself less com- 
petent to offer you information or advice, than the one on which you are 
sitting." Sir Andrew having g^ranted him a dispensation, the Doctor 
writes, on the 24th, acknowledging the favour, ^'with heartfelt and 
overflowing gratitude." 


service on the cause of religion and the country. The 
information elicited by the committee having been 
printed in various forms^ was speedily diffiised 
through the community^ and the most earnest efforts 
were employed, chiefly by the Lord*s-Day Society, to 
rouse the public feeling in behalf of the Sabbath.* 
The immediate results were, that the consciences of 
many, previously blind or blunted as to all sense of 
the evil of Sabbath-breaking, were awakened ; the 
rich were, in many cases, shamed out of those domes- 
tic usages which custom had taught them to regard 
as trivial, but which they now saw in the light of a 
system of oppression, entailed on a large class of 
their fellow-men, who were doomed to the treadmill 
of ceaseless drudgery, in order to supply the demands 
not of necessity or mercy, but of mere luxury ; and, 
in the following year, up to the 24th of May, an in- 
flux into Parliament of 1061 petitions, signed by 
261,706 persons, praying for an amendment of the 
Sabbath laws, proved the deep interest taken in the 
subject throughout all parts of the country .t 

• " We have all read with g^eat interest," writes one of Sir Andrew's 
friends, " the curious and interesting matter contained in the report. 
It is remarkable that the first attention of the public should be called to 
the desecration of the Sabbath by the butchers, a class of tradesmen 
considered so savage in their nature and habits, as to be incapable of 
serving on juries ! By the evidence of the bakers, it appears that the 
condition of these journeymen is worse than that of West Indian skives. 
In short, no one can read your report without feeling that you have 
entirely made good your case." 

t Second Anniial Report of the Society for Promoting the Due Ob- 
servance of the LorcTe Day, p. 17. "The three first public petitions 
presented to the first reformed Parliament, were from the parish of 
Sorbie, in the county of Wigtoun ; from the town of Wigtoun ; and 


The feeling within the House was far from being 
so friendly as that which prevailed out of doors. 
The members were confounded^ indeed, at the enor- 
mous flood of petitions which poured in upon them ; * 
but the opponents of the measure soon began to 
manifest their hostile intentions. While one class, led 
by Messrs Warburton, Cobbett, and Hume, set their 
face against this as well as every other measure which 
expressed a national faith in the God of heaven, and 
a national determination to be governed by his laws, 
another, less broadly irreligious, as the petitions were 
from time to time presented, " could not allow the 
opportunity to pass" without hinting their suspicions, 
that under the pretence of protecting the working 
classes in tlie enjoyment of their Sabbath, the real 
design was *' to curtail the innocent enjoyments of 
the poor." Mr Cobbett, with his usual obliquity of 
mental vision and home-spun humour, could see 
nothing in the contemplated measure but a plot of 
the rich merchants, who could afford to shut their 
shops on Sabbath, keep their gigs, and " tcisit their 
friends on a Vitsuntide," to hinder their poorer 
neighbours from getting their custom ! Mr War- 
burton, whose hostility to the measure was marked 

from Knopington, in Leicestershire — all praying for an amendment of 
the LordVday laws." — Note in Sir Andreti/s handwriting. 

* At a pubtic meeting held at Kelso, Mr Douglas of Cavers made the 
following statement : — ** He had heard his brother-in-law, Sir Andrew 
Agnew, say that Mr Manners Sutton, the Speaker of the House of 
Commons, had told him, he never cotild have conceived there would 
have been so many petitions presented. The Lords themselves were no 
less astonished at the fact." — Record Newspaper, March 11, 1833. 


throughout all its stages^ made a strenuous attempt 
to strangle it in its very birth. The members of 
government held out little prospect of success. 

Meanwhile Sir Andrew was carefully preparing 
his English bill. In this task he was fortunate 
enough to secure the co-operation of his friend, 
George Rochfort Clarke, Esq., of the Inner Temple, 
whose familiar acquaintance with English law, as 
well as his congeniaUty of religious sentiment, en- 
abled him to render the most valuable and efficient 
aid in perfecting the measure. Many were the con- 
sultations held among the friends of the Sabbath, in 
and out of the House, regarding the precise form 
which the bill should assume. And it was not till 
after much anxious consideration that Sir Andrew 
decided to bring in such a sweeping measure as that 
which he finally adopted. At length, however, he 
resolved to base his bill, first, on the recognition of 
the divine commandment, and, secondly, on the prin- 
ciple that, according to that command, all work on 
the Lord's day should be declared unlawful, and that 
permissions for works of necessity and mercy should 
be held as the exceptions. On these principles. Sir 
Andrew took his stand, and from these he never 
swerved to his dying day. In taking up this high 
position, which, while it exposed him to the hottest 
fire of the enemy, may be said to have been, at the 
same time, *' his strength in the day of battle," he 
followed his own convictions of truth and duty, unin- 
fluenced by the opinions of others, and in opposition 
to the advice of some of his best friends. "He 


came to my room," says the affectionate partner of 
his cares and counsels, " some time before, and said, 
he was considering earnestly what was best to be 
done about this * Lord's-day bill.' He had had let- 
ters from, and conversations with, many good men, 
and trusted he should be guided aright. * N^ow,' he 
said, ' I have two courses before me to follow. The 
question is, which is best ? I might either, in the 
first place, bring in a large and comprehensive mea- 
sure, taking in all classes and all trades, because 
prohibiting all works, except those of necessity and 
mercy, and based upon the divine commandment. 
This would be the right thing, if men's minds were 
in the right state for it. Or, again, I could bring in 
a confessedly partial measure, beginning with a few 
of the most urgent and clamorous cases of Sabbath 
labour and profanation, well-known ones, likely to 
excite sympathy, and not raise opposition, which 
having carried, I might then proceed, step by step, 
with each and all, as men's minds progressed in the 
cause.' I had not, like him, considered the matter 
much, and I therefore at once said, that the latter 
course would be what I should incline to, especially 
as it was more likely to be successful. 'Yes,' he 
repUed, ' it might be more immediately successfiil ; 
but then we must take into consideration that, when 
bringing in any public measure connected with so 
great and important a cause, we must not always be 
led by the public opinion, or the state of men's minds, 
but rather seek to lead them to higher ground, and 
to what we believe to be truth. In this way, though 



we may not obtain success so rapidly, we may lay 
the foundation of a more entire, and a more compre- 
hensive success hereafter, and success of a more 
enduring character.' I was struck with tlie superi- 
ority of these views. He was then only making up 
his mind as to the course he should pursue; but 
even then, no thoughts of the probable success or 
failure of his object could allure him from the path 
of duty, thorny and circuitous as it might be." 

The vivid recollections of Sir George Sinclair, in 
reference to this period, are to the same effect. 
" I distinctly remember," he says, in a letter to Lady 
Agnew, "in the year he first brought in the bill, 
being present, with eight or ten other friends of the 
cause, at a meeting which he convened in Manchester 
Buildings, at which several of us (myself among the 
number) proposed to him various modifications of 
the measure he was about to introduce, with a view 
to neutralize opposition and insure support; upon 
which Sir Andrew spoke nearly as follows : — ' My 
dear friends, on any other subject there is not one 
amongst you to whose opinions I should not feel dis- 
posed to bow with deference ; but you must allow 
me to observe, that as my attention has been en- 
grossed in this cause to a far greater extent than 
yours, as you have been all laudably occupied in 
considering other important measures of which I 
know comparatively little or nothing; as I have 
zealously and prayerfully occupied myself, I might 
almost say exclusively, with this question, and cor- 
responded with many of the best and holiest men in 

J. p. PLUMPTRB, ESQ. 14? 

Britain^ I may perhaps be allowed without vanity to 
say, that I have made myself more fully master of it 
than those who have had their thoughts occupied 
and distracted by other matters. I must therefore 
candidly tell you, that I am resolved not to com- 
promise, in any degree, the great principle for which 
I have undertaken to contend. I cannot consult 
expediency, or be influenced to swerve in the path 
of duty, by any hope (probably a vain one) of obvi- 
ating opposition ; and if I can get but one member 
to second the motion for the introduction of the bill 
as it stands, believing, as I do, that its provisions are 
in strict accordance with the Word of God, I would 
rather be the author of such a bill, and see it rejected, 
than substitute a less efficacious and scriptural mea- 
sure, though I were sure of its being carried.' 1 
have given you this reminiscence," adds Sir George, 
" to illustrate what some called the ' dogged obsti- 
nacy,' others, the right-minded perseverance, of one 
whom all would concur in revering, as a most sincere 
and devoted advocate of every thing good and excel- 

It may be interesting to add to these recollections, 
that on the conclusion of the meeting referred to, 
one of the number was found who, admiring, if not 
fully concurring in the conscientious views expressed 
by Sir Andrew, freely offered himself to be the 
seconder of his impartial and thorough-going bill. 
This was his friend, J. P. Plumptre, Esq., member 
for East Kent, himself the gentlest and most amiable 
among men, trained in the school of affliction, and 


most averse to give pain to any, yet of uncompro- 
mising Christian principles. He nobly came forward, 
and said to Sir Andrew, " If no one else more fitted 
will undertake to second your motion, I will." Mr 
Plumptre faithfully kept his word. * 

Hitherto nothing but sunshine had followed Sir 
Andrew in his Sabbath labours ; kind friends worked 
and corresponded with him ; the necessity for some 
measure was almost universally admitted ; the l^imes 
and other leading journals advocated it. "The 
working classes," they said, " ought to have the Sab- 
bath rest." The effort to obtain it for them " un- 
broken," was characterised as benevolent; they 
wished " the honourable members engaged in it God 
speed," and all " success in their good cause." This, 
however, proved but the treacherous lull before the 
storm. And it was merciful, too, as respected one most 
dear to Sir Andrew, that, at this critical juncture, just 
before the tempest broke on him whom she had so ten- 
derly cherished, and whose progress she had watched 
with maternal pride, she was saved from a world of 

* It is with sincere pleasure that we subjoin here a note received by 
Sir Andrew from Lord Ashley, ft*om which it appears that his Lord- 
ship, even at this early period of the struggle, manifested a hearty zeal 
in the cause of the Sabbath, by his efforts in behalf of which he has 
lately so honourably distinguished himself: — 

<* 20 Nbw Norfolk Street, Feb. 28 (1833). 
" Mt dear Agnew, — I should have great pleasure in seconding your motion, 
if I had time to prepare any thing on the subject ; but I am really so occupied 
by my factory bill, that I almost question my capability to undertake any thing 
else. However, I will not leave you in the lurch, to be unproTided with a 
seconder; but pray do, if you can, procure another. I will postpone your 
notice. Believe me, I am fully alive to your present distress. — Yours, very 
truly, AsHLEV." 


suffering by being removed to her heavenly rest. 
His mother was attacked with apoplexy at Black- 
heathy and expired fourteen hours after, upon the 27th 
of February. Her son was with her to the last. He 
found her in a state of insensibility. " I have opened 
your note," he writes to his cousin, " which my be- 
loved mother (there is but too much reason to fear) 
will never read. At three this morning I was called 
from town — the attack was apoplexy — entire insen- 
sibility, and, mercifully, no suffering. There is 
scarcely a shadow of hope, to all human appearance. 
You will, I am sure, not only feel for us, but pray 
for us. My trust is in Him who raised up the only 
son of the widow ! " 

" Two o^Cloch. — ^All is over with our dear, dear 
mother. Without a struggle, she has breathed her 
last. May God strengthen us to bear it!" 

IJever did son more truly "mourn for his mother,'* 
and never had son greater cause to mourn ; yet it was 
not long before he became aware that there was mercy 
in the blow, and that she was indeed "taken away from 
the evil to come." " I remember well," writes the 
cousin before referred to, " in going out with him to 
Blackheath some time after, he dwelt so much on the 
mercy mingled in her removal at that time, just be- 
fore the fiill outburst of obloquy and scorn against 
him whom she had always shielded from every rougher 
blast, and which would have so much tried the 
mother's heart, and perhaps, for a season, have even 
shattered her spiritual peace. Her sufferings, he 
said, had been one of his most anxious thoughts, in 


anticipating the time that had then arrived; and 
now she was gently housed before the storm. I 
remember that conversation as if it were yester- 

This mournful event delayed the introduction of 
the bill ; but on the 20th of March 1833, Sir An- 
drew moved ^^ that leave be given to bring in a bill 
to promote the better observance of the Lord's day." 
Considering the advanced hour of the night (two 
o'clock), he said it was not his intention to occupy 
the attention of the House by going into any expla- 
nation of the grounds on which he should ask the 
House to sanction the measure. That explanation 
he would defer to the second reading of the bill. 
All he would now ask, was for leave to bring it in, 
and let it be read a first time. He would then move 
that it be printed, and fix the second reading to a 
distant day — some five or six weeks hence — ^he 
would say, that day six weeks. He did hope that, 
considering the importance of the subject, and the 
numerous petitions which had been presented from 
all parts of the country, the House would accede to 
his proposition. Mr Shaw seconded the motion. 
The feeling of the House was apparently in favour of 
the measure. Even Mr Hume stated, that, respect- 
ing the wishes of many of his constituents, he would 
support the motion for the first reading of the bill, 
although he would by no means pledge himself to 
support its different provisions. The objections 
made to the first reading appear to have been wholly 
confined to Mr Hume's sworn friend, Mr Warbur- 


ton, who pressed his opposition to the very utmost, 
even to the clearing of the House for a division. N^o 
division, however, took place ; and the bill, having 
been read a first time, was ordered to be printed, 
and to be read a second time on the 30th of April. 

The preamble of the bill, which was borrowed 
from one of the old statutes, was as follows : — 

" Forasmuch as nothing is more acceptable to God than 
the true and sincere worship and service of Him according 
to His holy will, and that the holy keeping of the Lord's day 
is a principal part of the true service of God, which in very 
many places of this realm has been, and now is, pro&ned 
and neglected : And whereas it is the bomiden duty of the 
legislature to protect every class of society against being 
compelled to sacrifice their comfort, health, religious privi- 
leges, and conscience, for the convenience, enjoyment, or 
supposed advantage of any other class, on the Lord's day : 
And whereas the laws now in existence are found to be 
practically insufficient to secure the object for which they 
profess to provide." 

Then followed the different clauses, prohibiting all 
manner of work on the Lord's day. These clauses 
were certainly of the most sweeping and unsparing 
character; embracing all the forms of desecration 
which had been brought to light before the com- 
mittee. Sunday marketing and opening of shops, 
games and pastimes, drunkenness, stagecoaches, saU- 
ing of boats, barges, and ships, corporation meet- 
ings, cattle driving, &c., were strictly prohibited, 
under penalties varying from ten shillings to fifty 
pounds. The exceptions, referring to works of ne- 


cessity and mercy, were placed at the end of the 
bill, and purposely left vague and general, with the 
view of being more definitely fixed in committee. 
This arrangement, which the speaker, when con- 
sulted, advised as the more regular course, imparted 
to the bill a more obnoxious aspect than it might 
otherwise have borne. Many, startled at the very 
outset, read no further than the prohibitory clauses, 
with their formidable-looking penalties; and putting 
the worst possible construction on the legal phraseo- 
logy — at all times ungracious in its tone and strin- 
gent in its provisions — set themselves to expose the 
whole measure to public odium. 

This is not the place to enter on a formal defence 
of Sir Andrew's bill ; but there are a few points so 
essential to the right understanding of his character- 
istic policy in the whole of his contendings for the 
Sabbath, as to come fairly within the province of his 
biographer. In the preamble of the bill, two prin- 
ciples are stated; the first being a recognition of the 
Divine institution, the second being the duty of the 
legislature to protect every class in the observance of 
it. Without the former, it is hard to see how there 
could be any legislation on the subject, as it is only 
from the law of revelation that we learn Sabbatical 
duty; and without it there could be no ground left 
for protecting society in the observance of the seventh 
any more than the seventieth portion of time, or of 
the first more than any other day of the week. It 
must be the ultimate object of every enlightened 
legislator to bring the laws of the country into ac- 


cordance with the law of God, At the same time, in 
the exercise of his legislative powers, the civil ruler, 
while consulting the Divine glory, must propose to 
himself, as his direct and proper object, not the reli- 
gious, but the common benefit of society. In other 
words, it is his province to provide outward pro- 
tection to all in the observance of the Sabbath. 
This distinction admits of being justified by the rules 
of the soundest jurisprudence; and it is this principle 
of common justice, sanctioned by our old laws, that 
secures the general suspension of business on that 
day throughout the country. 

The principle itself is so obvious, that, when put 
in plain English, as it was on one occasion by Mr 
Plumptre, it sounds almost Uke a truism. " I think," 
said that estimable man, ^Hhe House is bound to 
protect those who cannot protect themselves." This 
expresses the whole gist of Sir Andrew's legislation 
about the Sabbath. It is equally apparent, however, 
that there are certain classes of our fellow-citizens, 
who, if not protected by law, can not protect them- 
selves; but must be forced, either by the dire com- 
pulsion of necessity, or by the less excusable, but 
hardly less irresistible, pressure of mercantile compe- 
tition, to violate the Sabbath against both conscience 
and inclination. The cases of oppression thus divide 
into two classes; and unless the law casts its shield 
of protection over all alike, the conscientious mer- 
chant will be driven to prosecute his Sabbath trade 
by the competition of his unscrupulous neighbours, 
while the pious tradesman will be starved into Sab- 


bath labour by the competition of his fellow- workmen, 
or by the avarice of his employer. 

This equitable principle of protection, while it 
defines the proper province of Sabbath legislation, 
furnishes a sufficient vindication of the stringent 
provisions in Sir Andrew's bill, which met with so 
much opposition. The charge most frequently urged 
against it was, that it went to abridge the innocent 
recreations of the poor, while it left untouched the 
much less allowable indulgences of the rich. But, 
indeed, the bill imposed no restraint on the recrea- 
tions of any, except in so far as the recreation of one 
class interfered with the rest of another ; and as the 
demands of luxury must be supphed at the expense 
of labouring poverty, it could only restrain the rich 
by protecting the poor. Still more irrelevant is the 
objection drawn from the employment of household 
servants on Sabbath. It has been loudly asserted, 
that the same principle which would stop the 
Sunday stagecoach, or close the Sunday bakehouse, 
ought, if honestly carried out, to put down the pri- 
vate carriage, and arrest the whole functions of do- 
mestic economy, on that day. This is one of those 
specious fallacies which, though it may strike the 
superficial, can hardly impose on the candid mind. 
For, not to speak of the sacredness of home, which 
no law dare violate, and with which no poUce can 
properly interfere, nothing can be more absurd than 
the theory which would place on the same level, as 
subjects for legislation, the functions of private life 
which must necessarily be performed every day, either 


in person or by proxy; and those public or mercan- 
tile transactions^ the necessity of continuing which 
on Sabbath is the very point in dispute. Wealth 
will, no doubt, always enable its possessor to hire 
the hands of others for those necessary services 
which he must otherwise have performed with his 
own ; and if he does exact services on the Lord's day 
beyond those of necessity, the offence comes under 
the category of personal desecrations, with which, 
though highly reprehensible, and of pernicious ten- 
dency, the law cannot deal, so long as they do not 
oflfend public decency or interfere with the interests 
of other classes of the community. It does not ap- 
pear to have been sufficiently observed, in the endless 
discussions on this subject, that the only form in 
which the law can interpose to protect those servants 
who are engaged in public trades, is by restraining 
the masters from competing with each other in the 
public market for gain; which cannot, of course, 
apply to the case of those who employ servants 
merely for their own convenience. But, indeed. Sir 
Andrew's opponents wished nothing less than to 
restrain the Sabbath indulgences of the rich. They 
affected to prove inconsistency, when they meant 
only to make out a case of impracticability; and, 
accordingly, when he afterwards introduced a clause 
into his bill which struck directly against the 
wealthier classes, none were more ready to avail 
themselves of this, to excite a prejudice against the 
whole measure, than those who had talked most 


loftily in behalf of ^' the innocent relaxations of the 
lower orders." 

Aware of the obnoxious aspect which his bill 
would bear in the eyes of those classes interested in 
the abuses which it condemned^ Sir Andrew took 
every possible means to secure for it a favourable 
reception, by circulating explanatory statements, 
along with copies of the printed bill, and urging 
the getting up of petitions. One of these, entitled 
*' Reasons for Desiring that the Laws for the Better 
Observance of the Lord's Day should be Amended," 
contains a condensed view of the principles on which 
his bill was afterwards founded. Another circular 
contained a brief explanation of the bill as introduced 
into Parliament.* This circular, having solicited ad- 
vices and suggestions in regard to the bill, was 
followed by a perfect shoal of replies from all parts 
of the country ; affording, as might be expected, a 
curious medley of all sorts of opinions. Many of his 
correspondents — even those most friendly to Sabbath 
protection — express great fears as to the probable 
success of a bill so alarmingly broad and sweeping 
in its character, and strongly urge him to take lower 
ground, and ask for less at a time. Others express 

* The same circular contains the following significant notification : — 
** The exceptions respecting travelling, and printed in italics at pages 
4 and 12, are not in unison with tJ^e sentiments of the framer of the 
bill; but the opinion of the country is requested thereupon." These 
exceptions related chiefly to t?ie running of tlve mail. So early did Sir 
Andrew anticipate a scheme of Sabbath reform, to the practicability and 
propriety of which the slow progress of years is only now beginning to 
open the eyes of the community. 


themselves fiiUy satisfied with the principle and de- 
tails of the bill, and " would rather see it strangled 
than mangled." Some propose various retrench- 
ments, others suggest numerous additions. Letters 
came pouring in from all parts of England, calling 
Sir Andrew's attention to Sunday wakes, fairs, and 
revels; Sunday brewing, angling, fishing, and sailing ; 
Sunday mills and factories; and various other strange 
and unheard-of profanations, which prevailed in their 
immediate neighbourhoods. From many of his cor- 
respondents, high in place— churchmen and dis- 
senters, clerical and lay — he received the warmest 
encouragement to persevere. "There appears," 
writes one,* " to be an extraordinary jealousy in the 
minds of many lest the measure proposed should be 
an attempt to drive people to religious duty. Nothing 
can be more absurd than such an attempt, nor more 
contrary, I feel assured, to your desire and that of 
those acting with you. The simple object is to pre- 
vent the boundary fence of all the ordinances of the 
Christian religion being broken through with im- 
punity. The idea of the dissenters, that human laws 
ought not to extend to such subjects, appears to me 
virtually to exalt the second table above the first — 
the duty to man above the duty to God." The 
reference here is to an expression of sentiment by 
some of the dissenters in England ; but the numer- 
ous letters, found in Sir Andrew's repositories, from 
various dissenting ministers, filled with promises 
of hearty co-operation and encouragement, prove 

• The Hon. and Rev Lyttelton Powys. 


that this feeling was at that time far from being uni- 
versal among them. The tide of the Voluntary 
controversy had just begun to set in, but the Sabbath 
stood too high in the estimation of good men, both in 
England and Scotland, to be all at once excepted 
from the benefit of legislation. It was not till some 
years later, that Voluntaryism, whether obeying, as 
some would say, the native impulse of its ruling 
principle, or chafed, as others will have it, by taunts 
of inconsistency, unwisely thrown out against its 
supporters, rose so high as to engulf this sacred bar- 
rier of morals and religion, among the things with 
which human laws have nothing to do. 

It may be mentioned, in connection with this, that 
two societies had sprung up in consequence of the 
agitation of the subject, both of which took lower and 
more limited ground in contending for the Sabbath 
than the Lord's-Day Society. One of these, called 
the " Sunday-Trading Suppression Society," of which 
the secretary was Mr Apsley Pellatt, regarding the 
seventh day " as a day of rest, recognised by the laws 
of the land and the customs of society, as enjoined 
by the Christian religion," held it "desirable that 
the right to its enjoyment should not be aggressed 
by partial trading on Sunday." " Deprecating the 
interference of the legislature with religious duties," 
it was anxious " to obtain the enactment of laws which 
shall effectually secure to all classes of the community 
one day in seven as a day of rest." To this society, 
aiming at the same object, though not coming up to 
the principle upon which he held it his duty to con- 


tend for it. Sir Andrew lent his countenance; haying 
presided at its formation, November 13, 1832. He 
rejoiced in every movement made in the right direc- 
tion, though in some cases he felt himself precluded 
from doing so, where principles were adopted at open 
variance with those which he held inviolably sacred. 
Such was the case with another association, called 
the " Sabbath Protection Society," chiefly composed 
of dissenters, who, loudly disclaiming all legislation 
about religion, sought to conciliate the good-will of 
the lower classes by reducing God's holy day to a 
matter of mere political expediency — " a day of civil 
rest." A meeting of this society was held on the 
27th of February 1 833, at which one of the reverend 
speakers held it was ^^ a great point with them to 
rescind the abominable laws at present in existence 
for the enforcement of the Sabbath," on the ground 
that " we are arrived at that period of the human 
understanding when men could not be coerced." So 
long as they harped on this string, they met uniyer- 
sal applause from those whose votes they were anxious 
to secure; but their attempt to meet the world half 
way shared the fate of all such compromises ; and, 
like the " seven sons of one Sceva a Jew," mentioned 
in the Acts, they no sooner began to " call over them 
the name of the Lord Jesus," than the evil spirit, in 
place of being exorcised, was only exasperated, and 
" prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that 
house naked and wounded."* A disrespectful allu- 
sion to atheism converted the meeting into a political 

* Acts six. 13-16. 



bear-garden ; the chair was usurped by a journeyman 
tailor^ named Duffy; and fiery resolutions were carried 
relative to the desecration of the Sabbath by the rich, 
and to some Parliamentary measure for suppressing 
disturbances in Ireland, which was styled " the bloody 
and horrible Irish Bill."* 

Every thing betokened a stormy reception for the 
unfortunate bill. From time to time, as petitions in 
its favour were presented to Parliament, members of 
both Houses took occasion to express their dissatis- 
faction and even astonishment at its severe provi- 
sions. On the 29th of March, after Sir Andrew had 
presented an immense mass of petitions, there was a 
perfect explosion of rancour against it. Mr Beau- 
mont, member for Northumberland, went so far as to 
characterise the petitioners as " actuated by cant, by 
humbug, and by hypocrisy." He said he would move, 
as an amendment, that it be entitled, " A Bill to pro- 
mote Cant." Several members accused Sir Andrew 
of having stolen a march on them by introducing 
such a bill; which, if they had known it better, they 
would not have suffered to enter the House. Mr 
Cobbett sneeringly " thanked the mover for bringing 
in such a bill, as it was so bad that it could never 
pass." In the House of Lords, even the bishops 
declared it went too far for them; though, when 
requested to bring forward '* a more reasonable mea- 
sure " themselves, they shrunk from a responsibility 
which, whatever glory it might bring to God, was sure 
to bring odium on themselves. The radical and in- 

• Morning Herald^ and Record, March 11, 1833. 


fidel portion of the press, as soon as they discovered 
the sweeping character of the measure, began to 
launch out into the most bitter abuse against both 
the bill and its mover.* The Timesy in one of its 
leading articles, stigmatized him as a ''sour cove- 
nanter," a " Scotch fanatic," this '' modest and bene- 
volent Puritan," "rtw Draco of devotion !^'f ''It 
would be amusing," says a contemporary, "were it 
not melancholy, to perceive the Times, and the other 
irreligious prints, blackening the proposed measure 
as an attempt to force on merry England the gloom 
of a Scotch Sabbath. Sir Andrew Agnew is painted 
as a gloomy Presbyterian fanatic, and the whole 
measure is made to issue from the deeps of covenant- 
ing absurdity. We have good reason to know that 
the worthy baronet was born, and bred, and remains, 
an Episcopalian ; and, instead of drawing his early 
impressions of the proper characteristics of Sabbath 
observance from Scotch strictness, that he received 
his education, and spent his early life, amidst the 
freedom and laxity of Irish profanations." J 

In the midst of these unpromising symptoms- — 
taunted by the enemies of the Sabbath with fanati- 
cal extravagance, and urged by many of its friends 
to mould his measure more in accordance with the 
wishes of the public and the spirit of the times — Sir 

* With the exception of the Record, which stood true to Sir Andrew 
ftt>m first to last, and the Standard^ very few of the public journals 
manifested a friendly spirit. 

t The article in which these epithets occur may be given, along with 
other curious specimens of contemporary spite, in the Appendix. 

t Record^ April 8, 1833. 



Andrew's situation was far from enviable. I^o man 
knows^ till he is tried^ how he shall feel under such 
circumstances. He had thought himself prepared 
for the worst — ^he expected opposition and abuse; 
but when^ on all sides^ he was assailed^ misrepresented^ 
and held up to pubUc scorn, he would indeed have 
been more than man had he been wholly insensible 
to his position. That he did feel it, and that most 
keenly, those that knew him best can testify; but 
quietly and prayerfully he allowed the storm to spend 
its rage on his head; and that he never shrunk for a 
moment from the post assigned him in the battle- 
field, we have it happily in our power to substan- 
tiate. The following letter, addressed to his cousin,* 
and written in all the freedom of familiar correspon- 
dence, when there was no temptation to conceal- 
ment, and no object to be gained by affectation, 
will testify better than we can describe how he felt 
on the subject : — 

« London, April 6, 1833. 

" My Dear Miss Harriet, — ^You must think me veiy 
careless in not having thanked you for your very kind note, 
written at a time when sympathy is worth its weight in 

" I am much gratified by your taking such a heavy lift of 
the bill and its author. The poor little composition, consist- 
ing scarcely of twelve pages, has raised a mighty outciy, an 
attack so indiscriminate, as to finmish a fiiU justification for 
not having brought forward a partial measure; for there 
could not have been framed a measure so partial as not to 
have come under one lash of the cat-o'-nine-tails. 

* Miss Harriet Agnew, now Mrs Alexander Stuart Mentealh. 


" In truth, the strength of the cause (as far as the bill is 
concerned) is in the sweeping (or, if you will, the extrava- 
gant) nature of the bilL It is based on a principle, the 
principle of protection to all men, beginning with the 
poorest, in the enjoyment of his religious liberty of worship- 
ping God according to his conscience on the Lord's day, 
untempted by the allurements of gain, and unmolested by 
the encroachments of neighbours. 

" The press are well aware, that were legislation to begin 
on this principle, he would be a bold man who would at- 
tempt to stop it; and who knows but then the Sunday 
newspapers might be put down ? and the proprietors or 
conductors of Sunday and week-day papers are one and 
the same. 

'' Still, there are many who have admitted that the pul>- 
lic cry for Sabbath observance must be attended to ; and 
it is for them to say from whom they will withhold the 
boon which has been proposed of a seventh day's rest from 

" Nothing has more delighted me than reading of Lord 
EUenborough, in the House of Lords, having recommended 
the Bishop of London to bring in a reasonable measure, thus 
acknowledging the necessity for legislation. I wish he 
would. My warfare would at once be changed from the 
defensive to the oflFensive. I should attack by moving 
amendments, extending the protection to such classes as 
it was proposed to exclude, leaving it for them to say 
why the exceptions had been made; or, if the upper classes 
were amongst the exceptions, it must be on the principle 
of elegant extracts from the vulgarity of Sabbath obser- 

" I was dared to attack old women and oranges, while 
the clubs and parks were left untouched. I have attacked 
both ; and what indignation has it not excited ! Let those 


who will, classify public-houses. I am taunted with not 
touching cabinet dinners and councils; but it would be 
very easy to move an address to the King, who alone can 
dictate to his confidential senranta 

"Who will now keep by me, I know not Many I 
fear, who could talk well in general terms, had never seri- 
ously considered details, and will find it easy to make a 
safe retreat behind the ample covering of my abominable 

" To the latter, I have no doubt a paternal regard ; yet I 
strive to keep the primary object in view — ^an improved ob- 
servance of the Sabbathj in however small a degree; and I 
desire to be thankful if that is accomplished, by whomsoever 
and by whatever means. The present hostility, on the part 
of the greater number, arises not firom deliberate enmity, 
but from ignorance of the subject, and no delay on my part 
seemed likely to get them better instructed; now, I trust 
that necessity will get the better of indiflferenca 

" It was much more agreeable to poor human nature to 
be praised than abused as at present; nevertheless, the lat- 
ter is the more wholesoma And you will pray that, whether 
outwai'dly prosperous or adverse, I may be made an instru- 
ment for good, and not fpr evil. 

" This is a long, incoherent parenthesis, and I return to 
where I set out, and say, that the strength of the bill is its 
universality. All who profess any regard for the Sabbath, 
will agree to some point the least oflFensive to themselves — 
no two will agree ; and yet all the parts rest on the same 
principle. It may fall as a whole; and yet the admissions 

* The allusion here is to a caricature of Sir Andrew, which appeared 
ahout this time, in which he was represented in the form of a huge hird, 
carrying off in his tremendous hUl the Sunday dinner of an astonished 
family. It was entitled " Sir Andrew's Abominable Bill." He brought 
it home one day, and shoived it to his friends, observing, with great 
good humour, that it was really a good idea. 


made by some, and the knowledge gained by all, cannot fail 
to prepare the way for future legislation. 

" You will, I am sure, pardon me for writing so much on 
one subject, believing in the reality of your sympathy. 
What is written is for yourself alone; for I had better 
remain behind the scenes imtil the storm has expended 
itself I was much obliged to the Times for calling me 
a * Scotch fimatic' — ^a term usually reserved for our stout- 
hearted forefathers of the seventeenth century, the founders 
of our civil and religious liberty. May it please God to 
let some sparks of their spirit alight on the present gene- 

'' It is an amusing fact, that the letters firom the country 
thanking me for the bill, which I have circulated, chiefly 
point out omissions. In the country, the desecrations are 
few and far between, and vary in diflferent districts; while, 
in the metropolis, aU varieties are combined and intertwined 
— With kindest remembrances, believe me your affectionate 

--^ " Andbew Aonew. 

" If our work be of God, they cannot overthrow it; if not 
His, the sooner it falls the better." 

**-4pnZ23, 1833. 

" I am afraid that the alarm which the press has raised 
against ' the bill,' has much al>ated. But few nerves can 
stand the imputation ot fanaticism; and of this weakness 
of human nature, the press has availed itself. Letters from 
the country continue to be very favourable, selfishness chiefly 
coining in the way of a general approval. The desire to 
take aU and give nought \i. e., to take rest themselves, but 
give none to others], is my justification for bringing forward 
the whole case!* 

His sentiments relative to these suggested modifi- 
cations of his measure^ are well expressed in the fol- 


lowing extract from what may be regarded as his 
chosen organ at this time : — 

" The gentleman who introduces the bill, avowedly taking 
his stand on the revealed will of God, says, if I am to legis- 
late on this subject, I must make the attempt, not accord- 
ing to the passing fancies and irreligious habits and prac- 
tices of the age, but according to that heavenly standard 
which changes not, and which is of paramount and everlast- 
ing obligation. Here is a bill such as is fitting for a Chris- 
tian man to introduce, and a Christian assembly to pass, and 
a Christian nation to support. If passed, it will be an ines- 
timable boon to the country; if weakened and deteriorated 
in its passage through Parliament, it may still do good, and 
I may still rejoice in the good which, through its instrumen- 
tality, even in its weakened form, it may accomplish; but it 
is alike inconsistent with my principles and my duty to pro- 
pose any bill of mine to tolerate evils which God condemns, 
and which are destructive to the dearest interests of man in 
time and eternity. The position which Sir Andrew Agnew 
thus takes, is, in our opinion, unassailable. And standing, 
as he does, on this rock, assailed by eveiy species of con- 
tumely, scorn, and slander, in Parliament and out of it, from 
men of his own rank of life, and launched as thick as hail 
from the Hberal, radical, and infidel press, he commands our 
profound respect, and, we venture to assert, the sympathy, 
the affection, and the prayers, of the entire Christian com- 

The critical day appointed for the second read- 
ing of the Sabbath Bill was now approaching; and^ 
amidst the godless and graceless political excitement 
then prevailing to such a fearful extent, it was refresh- 
ing to think that, in the prospect of that day, many 

• Record, April 1, 1833. 


a prayerful heart was lifted up, in secret supplica- 
tion, for success to the champion of the Sabbath in 
his arduous attempt to plead, in the face of a blas- 
pheming world, and before the representatives of the 
nation, for the moral supremacy of the King of Hea- 
ven. We may here introduce a few specimens of this 
inestimable source of strength, Aimished by a large 
and widely-scattered spiritual constituency, on whose 
support Sir Andrew all along placed much reliance 
in calculating his prospects of success, and who, 
"helping together in their prayers" for him and 
his associates in this holy enterprise, contributed, 
more than time's annals wiU perhaps ever unfold, to 
the encouragement of its friends and the confrision 
of its enemies. "My dear sir," writes one, "par- 
don me if I am wrong, but I begin to feel towards 
you as though I was addressing an old and familiar 
friend. Perseverance in every thing which is good 
must be successful. ' Ye shall reap, if ye faint not.* 
Sabbatk-breahera soon become too wiched for any 
employment on earth. I will pray for you daUy, if I 
can do nothing else." * " All our friends," writes 
a venerable clergyman, f "agree in testifying that 
no meeting could have been more satisfactory than 
that of yesterday. It assumed almost a devotional 
aspect, though no more than one or two ministers 
took part in the business." " The only sure foun- 
dation," writes an excellent layman, + "whereon to 
erect our batteries, is the Word of God. That he 

* G. Greatbatch, Esq. t The Rev. John Sheppard, Blackheath. 

t Mehnoth Wallers, Esq., Bath. 


may vouchsafe you his gracious assistance^ and sup- 
ply you with able and zealous supporters, is the 
very sincere wish and hearty prayer of, yours," &c. 
"I was cool and doubtftil about your bill," says a 
lady of rank,* " till I saw how the world received 
it. May you have the blessing promised to those 
who are spoken against for the Lord's sake, and 
may He give you strength to go on unflinchingly 
in the path of truth! I have seen and heard no 
ridicule attached to yourself which is not levelled 
at the vmtten command of God, I would wish to 
see you supported for the kingdom of heaven's sake, 
instead of for the sake of decency and decorum." 
The next is from a friend at Blackheath : — f 

^ Sahbaik Ewning, 

" My Dear Sir, — To-morrow you go forth to the battle ; 
may it be b the strength of the Lord God ! How I would 
rejoice in supporting you in such a cause and in such b, place f 
You will meet with opposition ; but fear not, though an host 
should encamp against you. When Asa trusted in the Lord, 
he triumphed. He was told, * Were not the Ethiopians and 
the Sabeans a huge host, with very many chariots and horse- 
men? yet, because thou didst rely on the Lord, he deUvered 
them into thine hand;' and thus may it be with you! You 
stand foremost in the conflict. Think not of seK Plead for 
the creatm-e, but glorify the Creator; and he will give you 
abundant power and utterance. You will have the prayers 
of many. Mine shall be that God may prosper the work of 
your hands; and, through His grace strengthening you, that 
you may be made the blessed instrument of glorifying Him 
by turning many a sinner from the error of his ways. ' Be 

* Lady Dalryinple Hay. f David loglis, Esq. 


ye strong, therefore, and let not your hands be weak; for 
your work shall be rewarded.'* I am, my dear Sir, with 
much esteem, yoius, very fidthfully/' 

We conclude with the following, from his good 
friend, Mr Rochfort Clarke : — 

/^ May that gracious Lord who has been with us hitherto, 
direct oxu* steps, that we offend not against His holy will ; 
and whether we succeed or fail in the particular measure, 
may His blessing render it productive of good through the 
mere discussion ! Let His goodness to us hitherto induce 
us to keep closer to the cross, the weight of which we may 
yet have to bear, in the event of a reaction m the public 
mind; and I feel the necessity of whispering to my heart, 
* Be not high-minded, but fear/ I feel very grateful to you 
for having been the instrument to lead us thus far; and 
may the God of all grace keep you faithful still in the 
midst of whatever difficulties may arise!" 

♦ 2 Chron. xv. 7. 




On Thursday, May 16, 1833, Sir Andrew rose in the 
House of Commons to propose the second reading 
of his Sabbath Bill. The moment was most unpro- 
pitious. The time and patience of the House had 
been exhausted by Mr Cobbett's famous motion to 
dismiss Sir Eobert Peel from his Majesty's councils. 
The Premier had concluded his eloquent and wither- 
ing reply. His cynical accuser had just sat down, 
amidst peals of groans, hooting, and laughter, after 
making an awkward apology for his unparliamentary 
language. Sir Robert was in the act of retiring in 
triumph from the House, accompanied by many of 
his friends, when the Speaker, at half-past eleven 
o'clock, called upon Sir Andrew, and the following 
scene ensued : — 

" Sir Andrew Agnew said he feared, at that late hour of 
the night, it would be impossible to obtain a proper discus- 


sion for the motion he had to make, for the second reading 
of the Lord s Day Observance BilL (Cries of * Gk) on, go on.') 
He was in the hands of the House, and he would postpone 
the motion, if the House wished it, to a more convenient 
day. (*Qo on, go on.') 

'* Sir Robert Inglis said, it was scarcely possible that such 
a subject could be properly debated at that late hour of the 
night (Cries of ' Go on, go on.') 

'^ Sir A. Agnew said that if it was the opinion of the House 
that he should go on with his motion, he was ready to do 
so. (*Go on, go on.') If, however, the House would allow 
him, he would, for the convenience of the House, postpone 
it to — (Several voices, *To this day six montha') 

" The Speaker, * To when V 

" Sir A. Agnew, * To—' (Cries of ' To Sunday nexf) ' to 
Friday se'ennight' " 

Having at last, after considerable interruption, 
obtained a hearing, the honourable baronet delivered 
the following speech, which expresses so briefly and 
emphatically the grand object of the bill, and so 
satisfactorily disposes of the principal objections to 
it, that we deem it worthy of a place here, merely 
premising that the reporters have said, that ^^.he 
spoke in a low tone of voice, which rendered it diffi- 
cult to catch what he said." 

'* I should feel more embarrassed even than I do at the 
present moment in attempting to address the House, if I 
did not feel convinced that the peculiarity of my situation 
will ensure for me the indulgence of the House. I mean 
not as to time, for I intend to be short, but as to a patient 
hearing of what it ia my duty to explain. Such an expla- 
nation is the more necessary, as, in deference to the conve- 


nience of the House, rather than to the wisdom of its forms, 
the bill which I have had the honour to introduce has gone 
through two stages without any explanation from its origi- 
nator. I cannot but attribute to this absence of all expla- 
nation much of that prejudice which is entertained to- 
wards the bill Much misapprehension and misstatement 
has got abroad on the subject. In the introduction of this 
measure, I can hardly be called a volimteer: the idea of 
the bill did not originate with myself, but was first started 
by some humble individual tradesmen of the metropolis; 
and I can assure the House that it contains no single 
provision, no solitary clause, which is not intended to pro- 
tect the interest, or further the prayer of some of those 
numeroiis classes who have crowded the table of the House 
with petitions for legislative assistanca It then only re- 
mains for me to show, that the bill is calculated to attain 
the objects so earnestly demanded in all parts of the 
country, in order to promote the better observance of the 

" For the most part, the prejudices against the bill are to 
be traced to the misrepresentations of the public press; for, 
after gentlemen have expressed to me their disapprobation 
of the bill, I generally find, that on putting the question — 
Whether they have read the bill? — ^the answer is in the nega- 
tive. Knowing how averse the House is to discussions of a 
purely religious nature, it is fortunate that it is not neces- 
sary for me to employ polemical arguments. But I must 
I)e allowed to say, that to discuss the question of the obser- 
vance of the Lord s day in any assembly, without alluding 
to the command to keep it holy, would be a solecism of 
which I would not willingly be guilty. The Almighty has 
commanded us to keep the day holy, to * cease from all 
manner of work;' and the ordinance extends to Hhe man, 
to his household, to his cattle, and to the stranger within 


his gates.' Such is the high authority on which I justify 
legislative interference on the subject But as to the 
spiritual observance of the Lord's day, as to how it is 
to be kept, the bill now before the House presumes not 
to dictate. 

" I now proceed to touch on the first clauses of the bill. 
First, it endeavours to stop all manner of wort, so that every 
man may be free to keep it holy in such manner as his own 
conscience may dictate. And, as the divine command is 
addressed to the consciences of the members of the house- 
hold, so all arrangement ' within the gates ' is left to the 
dictates of conscience, without giving to the law any inquisi- 
torial power. It is, then, for the protection of this religious 
liberty that the bill attempts to put a stop to all the entice- 
ments and temptations of profession, trade, and competition. 
Some have accused me of inconsistency, because I have not 
attempted to restrain the rich man from employing his ser- 
vants as well as the tradesman from emplojdng his appren- 
tice. Sir, I wish as much as any man that domestic servants 
were relieved from all unnecessary work on the Lord's day, 
and I am happy to hear that the late discussions have led 
many to reconsider their family arrangements; and I trust 
the progress of public opinion and a paramount sense of 
duty will produce this eflFect more and mora But I am 
unwilling, by legislation, to assume any inquisitorial power, 
inconsistent with the genius of the British constitution. 
I am unwilling to encroach on the old English maxim, 
that ' every man's house is his castle.' I draw a distinction 
between domestic servants as not being productive labourers, 
and therefore unlike those engaged in trade, whose Sunday's 
work can be carried to the market on Monday, to the preju- 
dice of the fair trader. In fact, the bill is framed on a prin- 
ciple of Protection — a term which was not at first adopted 
by myself, but which originated, as I have before stated, 


among the tradesmen of the metropolis I have been asked 
why I do not confine myself to the evidence of last session. 
By this is meant — ^why do I not restrict my relief to the 
traders of the metropolis ? Had I acted thus, what apology, 
I ask, could I have made to the petitioners in all other parts 
of the kingdom, who do not in all instances merely seek for 
general relief but expressly pray for the redress of what they 
feel to be particular grievances. There is, in fact, as I have 
already stated, no point in the bill which is not intended to 
do justice to some class of petitioners. The principle of 
protection, however, seeks not to dictate to man's conscience, 
as to how the day should be religiously spent It only forbids a 
man so to employ himself or others as to become a hindrance 
to others who desire conscientiously to observe the divine 
commandment The tradesman seeks this protection because 
he has proved and suffers from the present insufficiency of the 
law. The aid of the parish officers, the local magistrates, the 
new police, have all been in vain. The unconscientious man 
has still been enabled to set the whole neighbourhood at defi- 
ance, and this after the whole neighbourhood has come to an 
understanding to keep all the shops closed. Good and evil 
example are both infectious, but evil example spreads with 
greater rapidity than good ; and if the unconscientious man 
breaks through rule, his influence destroys much that has 
been effected. I therefore consider it to be the duty of the 
House to interfere, and I trust its protection will not be 
refused, when it is so loudly called for by the most respect- 
able and numerous classes of the community. In reference 
to the preamble and first clause of the bill itself^ did it con- 
tain merely the private opinion of the humble individual who 
now addresses the House, it had better not have stood there ; 
but regarding, as I do, the principle it declares in a much 
higher point of view, and having therefore placed it in that 
position, / wovld rather that you reject the whole measure 


than that you pass the whole and reject the first clause. 
And I thus speak, simply because I feel and am persuaded 
that, vrithout recognizing the authority of God in this insti- 
tution, the most perfect Sahbath Bill you covM cmistruct 
would prove nothing better than a beautiful edifice without 
a foundation, a caMle in the air, a statute not binding on 
the conscience, and therefore inoperative, because it would 
not be in the power of the magistrate to carry it into execu- 
tion. In conclusion, Sir, I beg to move that the bill be now 
read a second time." 

The motion was seconded in an excellent speech 
by Mr Plumptre, and several members spoke warmly 
in favour of the measure ; but its general reception 
was far from being favourable. Many who had been 
in theory favourable to an entire Sabbath rest for an 
overtoiled population, shrunk from the restrictions 
necessary to secure that blessing, and were taken by 
surprise when they discovered all the Sabbath jaunts 
and junkettings that would be interfered with. They 
had not counted the cost; all favour for the bill 
vanished in undefinable horror at its sweeping pro- 
visions, and they thought to raise such a storm as 
would frighten it for ever from the walls of St 
Stephens. Some, conscious of misdeeds which would 
bring them under the lash of its penalties, affected a 
high strain of moral indignation at the cruel attempt 
to abridge the already limited indulgences of the 
lower orders. Others charged the bill and its mover 
with gross partiality in not dealing with the rich, 
who could travel in their own carriages and employ 
their own servants. Others, again, took up theological 
ground, contending that the fourth commandment 


was intended only for the Jews; they denied the 
morality of the Sabbath; and granting that the early 
part of Sunday ought to be devoted to religious 
exercises, they pleaded that the rest of the day might 
be laudably spent in pastimes and recreation. 

It was some consolation, though a melancholy 
one, to the friends of the Sabbath, that the opposi- 
tion to the bill was led by that section of Parliament 
generally characterised by radicalism and irreligion. 
Unfortunately, however, these were supported by 
government. Lord Althorp thought the bill too 
bad to admit of amendment, " I should be one of 
the last men in the House," he said, " who could 
wish to do any thing which would operate injurioiisly 
against the proper observance of the Sunday. I 
think it most desirable, not only in a religious, but 
also in a political and moral point of view, that it 
should be observed as a day of rest; but I think it 
far from desirable, in either point of view, that re- 
creation and amusement should be prevented on that 
day." It is remarkable that his lordship, who saw 
no impropriety in bringing in another bill '* to pre- 
vent Sunday trading and every thing indecent and 
injurious," should have objected to Sir Andrew's 
bill, which aimed at nothing more than this, imposing 
no direct restriction on any form of relaxation, and 
preventing no recreation which did not interfere with 
that rest which Lord Althorp considered so desirable 
to secure for all classes, " not only in a religious, biit 
also in a political and moral point of view." 

The debate was kept up with great spirit for some 


time, and in the end the House divided on the 
motion, when there appeared — 

Ayes 73 

Noes 79 

Majority against the second reading. 6 

This majority, poor as it was, was hailed with 
loud cheers, upon which Sir Robert Inglis observed, 
" Whatever may be the meaning of these cheers — 
and I will not venture to characterise them — ^I do 
trust that the noble lord will feel, that on a subject 
against a legislative dealing with which so small a 
majority has appeared in this House, whilst so vast 
a number have expressed themselves in its favour in 
the country, his Majesty's government ought to 
bring forward some substantive measure." Sir An- 
drew then gave notice, that on the first day of the 
next session of Parliament, he would move for leave 
to bring in a bill for the better observance of the 
Lord's day.* 

The inimical press were taken by surprise at the 
largeness of the minority in favour of the bill. The 
Times, indeed, with its wonted rancour, pretended 
to regard the vote as a triumph. " Sir Andrew 
Agnew," it says, " moved the second reading of that 
monstrous piece of absurdity of his, which he calls 
the Lord's Day Observance Bill, but we are happy 
to see that the motion was negatived, and the bill 
thrown out altogether." And after attempting to 
account for " the slender majority by which this 

• Mirror of Parliament^ May 16, 1833. 



attempt to revive some of the worst features of 
Puritanism was scouted out of the House," it pro- 
poses that " the printed copies of the bill ought to 
be converted into fools-caps." Other papers, how- 
ever, such as the Morning Herald, spoke in a very 
different tone, acknowledging that '' the object and 
substratum of the bill were such as no man has had 
the hardihood to condemn;" and that it received 
the sanction of a great mass of the community in 
petitions to ParUament, to which it behoved that 
assembly to lend a more willing and more friendly 
ear." Sir Andrew himself was far from being cast 
down with the result. In a circular addressed to 
his friends in various parts of the kingdom, he de- 
clared that they " had every reason to take courage 
and to proceed; the majority was only six, the 
minority large. Many friends were accidentally ab- 
sent.* It is evident," he added, *' that the principle 
of protection, which is essential to religious liberty 
on the Lord's day, is not yet fully understood ; and 
therefore that a bill could not, at present, go through 
a committee of the whole House, without having its 
appUcation to many classes of society struck out. 
We should, however, rejoice that the cause has 
made so great progress in so short time. And it is 
gratifying to hear from all quarters, that even the 
general discussion of the requirements of the Sabbath 

* Next day Lord Granville Somerset, Sk George Staunton, and 
others, expressed their r^et at the lateness of the hour at which the 
discussion had taken place, and the general disappointment felt at the 
decision. — Sir Andrtvfs Correspondence. 


has had a moral influence, and has led, in various 
instances, to an improved observance of the day — 
circumstances which more than compensate for any 
labour which may have been bestowed — for these 
are effects which, through legislation, we seek to 

The indirect good effected by the agitation of the 
subject in Parliament, to which Sir Andrew here 
alludes, was indeed incalculable. Thousands, who 
had never given a thought to the question, were led 
to consider the claims of the '^ Lord of the Sabbath 
day." Practices which had hitherto been deemed 
blameless, because none had been ever heard to 
blame them, were now discovered to be sinful, — 
customs to which time had affixed its sanction, and 
which, like impostors, had found admission into 
families under false names and fair pretences, were 
now discarded, — and altogether the standard of 
feeUng on the question was, by the efforts of Sir 
Andrew, raised thtt)ughout the country from the 
highest to the lowest grades of society. " I remem- 
ber,*' says Mr Andrew Johnston, "hearing about 
this time that a friend having gone to visit the then 
Speaker, Mr Manners Sutton, and the Sabbath being 
mentioned, the Speaker observed, * I see I must give 
up my Sunday dinners.' We were also gladdened 
by the intelligence that strict orders had been given 
at the royal palace that all provisions for Sunday 
should be got in on the preceding Saturday." Hence 
arose the remark reported to have been made by the 
cook of the royal household, that " there was no 


such thing as a bit of fish to be got now on Sunday, 
except on the sly." Still more gratifying to the 
benevolent heart of Sir Andrew was the intelligence, 
conveyed to him from various quarters of the country, 
of multitudes released from the Sabbath yoke, by 
the cessation of extensive works which formerly 
engaged so many hands on that day — of stage- 
coaches unharnessed — of blast-furnaces extinguished 
— and, last not least, even of Sunday papers discon- 
tinued ! 

Though foiled in Parliament, Sir Andrew had the 
satisfaction of knowing that his efforts were not un- 
appreciated by that portion of the community whose 
verdict in this matter he chiefly prized. At the 
annual meeting of the Lord's-Day Society, held at 
Exeter Hall, June 13, 1833, presided over by the 
Earl of Chichester, and attended by some of the 
best and noblest of the land, the most flattering 
allusions were made to his efforts in Parliament. On 
this occasion the Earl of Winchelsea, the Hon. and 
Kev. Baptist Noel, the Bishop of Lichfield and 
Coventry, the Bishop of Winchester, and others, 
eloquently and warmly supported the principles and 
details of Sir Andrew's bill. The Rev. H. Stowell 
boldly denounced Archbishop Whately's opinions, 
which had " come forth under the sanction of theo- 
logy and lawn-sleeves," lamenting that " even if he 
had found reason to imagine that the Sabbath was 
not made for man, he did not keep the dark secret 
in his own breast, but attempted to strip his country 
of that boon which forms the bright rainbow about 


the national throne," And the Rev, James R. Brown 
(well known for his evangelical zeal) showed^ at 
great length, that Sir Andrew's bill, " lost though it 
be, had been productive of great subordinate good." 
The society, among other resolutions, thankfully 
acknowledged the eflforts of Sir Andrew, and ex- 
pressed its earnest trust that, in spite of the present 
failure, the great object would be ultimately obtained. 

The voluminous correspondence of Sir Andrew is 
filled with interesting notices of the effects produced 
by the agitation of the question throughout the 
country. Among those who personally exerted them- 
selves in this good cause it would be inexcusable to 
omit the name of the Rev. Herbert Smith of Stratton, 
who was led to take a deep interest in the case 
of those engaged in the stagecoach business, and 
whose persevering efltorts led to measures calcu- 
lated to afford them relief. His aid and advice 
in this matter were of the greatest service to Sir 

Detennined, if he could not succeed with his gene- 
ral measure, to secure at least some point of practical 
reform. Sir Andrew, immediately after the rejection 
of his bill, introduced another, intituled '^ An Act to 
enable the election of officers of corporations, and 
other public companies, now required to be held on 
the Lord's day, to be held on the Saturday next 
preceding, or on the Monday next ensuing." This 
bill, which was based on the important principle, 
" that it is the duty of the legislature to remove, as 
much as possible, impediments to the due observance 


of the Lord's day," was allowed to pass the two 
Houses, and received the royal assent in the end of 
July 1883. Thus one step was made in the right 
direction ; and, occurring at this critical juncture, it 
was hailed by the friends of the Sabbath as an 
earnest of better things to come. 

Undismayed by the fate of his English bill, our 
Sabbath champion next moved, on the 18th of June, 
this year, '* for leave to bring in a bill to amend the 
laws relating to the observance of the Lord's day in 
Scotland ; " in the preparation of which he was ably 
assisted by numerous friends of the cause, clerical and 
legal, throughout the country. The object of this 
bill differed from that of the English one, being 
chiefly designed to accommodate the existing statutes 
to the change of circumstances, and to raise the fines 
from '^punds Scots" to something corresponding to 
modern currency. The introduction of the bill was 
opposed by Mr Hume, Mr Wason, and others^ but 
ultimately granted by a majority of thirteen.* This 
bill was postponed till the following session. 

Meanwhile, Sir Andrew, during the whole of this 
session, was exposed to the unremitting obloquy of 
the hostile press. The Times^ in announcing the 
introduction of the Scotch bill, stigmatizes its mover 
as " Sir A. Agnew, who has been disappointed in his 
benevolent attempt to deprive the hard-working 
people of England of their only day of recreation in 
the week." The Suiiday papers, of course, were out- 
rageous in their joy, and quite rabid in their abuse. 

• Mirror of Parliament^ June 18, 1833. 


'^ Sir Andrew Agnew's bill," said the News of the 
19th of May, "for the better observance of the Sab- 
bath, — or rather for preventing all who cannot afford 
to keep carriages and horses from enjoying the fresh 
air a few miles from town on the Sunday, — was 
thrown out (kicked out, we would rather it had been) 
of the Commons on Thursday, by a majority of six." 
Then followed the usual false sentimentalism about 
the poor, mixed up with those side-thrusts at the 
wealthier classes, so grateful to the morbid palates 
of their readers. " Look to the rich, Sir Andrew," 
writes some anonymous patriot, who encloses him 
this precious morceau : " I could name you many 
of the nobility and gentry who, so recently as last 
Sunday, to my knowledge, had their concerts, and 
parties, and dice, and cards, &c." Sir Andrew was 
always ready, on such occasions, to answer for him- 
self. In order to repel the insinuation that unequal 
laws were desired, and to indicate that no such im- 
pediment need stand in the way of his main ob- 
ject — securing the enjoyment of the Sabbath to the 
poor — ^he gave notice of a motion " for closing the 
carriage gates of Hyde Park;" which could only 
be obtained by an address to the Crown, which pos- 
sessed this prerogative. In a communication ad- 
dressed to one of the papers, whose "candour and 
moderation" he acknowledges, he explains the rea- 
sons which led him to throw his bill, as a shield 
of protection, over " almost all varieties of occupa- 
tions denominated trades." " Perhaps," he says, " I 
overrated the patient deliberation of the country 


and of parliament ; but I felt it my duty to bring 
the whole case under their consideration. Feeling 
that the Sabbath is ' the poor man's day/ and that 
individuals in the humbler walks of life are primarily 
interested in its right observance, I would have been 
content to legislate for the protection of the poor 
man only, in the hope that I might avert the hostile 
opposition of the rich. But a cry was raised, that 
there must be no new law, unless it affected rich and 
poor. An ignoble war against old women and 
oranges was deprecated, while the clubs and parks 
were untouched. I did attack the latter places, ra- 
ther than relinquish the poor man's case ; and now 
I am vilified therefor ! " In his place in ParUament, 
he adopted the same line of defence. " This leads 
me to remark," he said, " on what I would term 
much false sentiment which has been uttered about 
the indulgence of the lower orders. The fact is, that 
all this sentimentality has only reference to the plea- 
sures of the upper and middle classes^ while the actual 
lower or working classes are left altogether out of the 
account^ For instance, it may be very agreeable to 

* In proof of this statement, Sir Andrew might have appealed to 
hundreds of letters sent to him hy working men in all different trades. 
Let the following be taken as a sample of those found in his reposi- 
tories : — 

" To Sir Andrew Agnew, Bart^ M.P, 

** SiB, — Permit me to state, for your information, the extreme hardship under 
which an industrious portion of his Majesty ^s subjects labour — tIz. the journey- 
men mtllergf many of whom are depriTed of the priTilege of attending divine 
worship, and of keeping the Sabbath holy, or as a day of rest, btf their mcuters, 
who keep their mills at work on the Sundays. No men deserve or require 
more, from the nature of their employment, and from the number of hours 
they work, one day out of seven to rest from their labour. (Here follows a 


gentlemen to travel in their own carriages to Rich- 
mond^ and the middle classes may find it agreeable 
to go there by public coaches ; but would the House 
keep in mind, that there were other classes — ^the 
ostler, horsekeeper, and all the operatives connected 
with travelling — who had petitioned this House for 
protection on the day of rest, which was no day of 
rest for them. — (A laugh.) Honourable members 
may laugh at this fact ; but / stand here as the advo- 
cate for the poor working man, and it is my wish to 
protect his interests and welfare.^' * 

It is impossible for any honourable mind to with- 
hold its tribute of admiration from the noble philan- 
thropy which could thus, in the face of " the world's 
dread laugh," plead the cause of the oppressed, 
and " him that hath no helper." But the heartless 
and hypocritical clamour raised against him by a 
godless press, pandering to the worst prejudices of 
the rabble, had wrought its designed efiect.f The 
obloquy cast at first on the measure was transferred 
to the man; and Sir Andrew had the additional 
mortification to find his name becoming a bjrword 

Btaiement of their hours of toil.) As a proof of my statement, look around, 

sir, and see the number of mills working on the Sunday. The steam-mills in 

I^ndon, and the water-mills in the country, are most of them employed on that 

holy day. Should your bill, sir, accomplish this desired purpose, you would 

confer an essential benefit upon us, and your name would be remembered with 

gratitude by 

** Hundreds of Jouhnbymen Millebs. 

" Hit March 1831." 

• Mirror of Parliament, July 9, 1833. Record, July 11, 1833. 

t The reference here is chiefly to the Dispatch, and other Sunday 
papers, with whose low and profane buffoonery our readers will not 
expect us to defile these pages. 


and proverb in the lips of those very classes of so- 
ciety in whose behoof he was so generously labouring. 
Lampoons of every description — caricatures^ in which 
his name^ his character, and his cause were held up 
to ridicule, often in the most profane style of bur- 
lesque — ^songs and satires, adapted to the lowest 
tastes and tunes — ^were profusely scattered against 
him. Yet, while thus enduring the scorn of the 
thoughtless, the ignorant, and the profane, he en- 
joyed, through the mercy of his God, much inward 
peace and consolation. Much of his time was spent 
alone ; and unusual as it was with him to make such 
avowals, he has confessed that at this period he felt, 
in the perusal of his Bible at all hours, a sweetness 
and an applicability to himself of its sacred texts, 
which he had never experienced before. One day, he 
said, when reading his favourite book, the book of 
Psalms, a half-drunken ballad-singer turned into 
Manchester Buildings, the street where he lodged — 
a somewhat uncommon occurrence in that retired 
locality, which afforded no thoroughfare. He hap- 
pened to be reading the sixty-ninth psalm, and had 
just come to the twelfth verse, " They that sit in the 
gate speak against me, and I was the song of the 
dninkards," when he overheard this poor man shout- 
ing out some profane ribaldry about himself and the 
Sabbath. He actually started at what appeared the 
literal fulfilment to him of what has ever been in this 
world the portion of the children of God, as it was 
of ''the Master" himself. He remembered that 
*'thc servant is not greater than his lord;" and felt 


AN£CD0TE8. 187 

that he could bless God^ that as he was a companion 
in the tribulation^ so should he be also in the conso- 
lation of his people. 

In the House of Commons, where his voice was 
often raised in behalf of his sacred cause^ he had to ex- 
perience a diflFerent species of annoyance. " His zeal," 
writes Sir George Sinclair, " was so untiring, that he 
sometimes taxed, and even exhausted the patience of 
those who took a lukewarm interest in the subject, or 
who were indifferent or hostile to his views. I may 
mention that, on one occasion (indeed, such an oc- 
currence took place not unfrequently), when he got 
up to address the House on his question, his voice was 
at first drowned in a discordant chorus of loud and 
impatient murmurs; on which, after standing for 
some minutes unabashed and unawed, he, as soon as 
a momentary pause occurred, expressed himself nearly 
as follows: — * Sir, I must place myself entirely in the 
hands of the House, and appeal to their own sense of 
propriety and right feeling. I am well aware that I 
do not possess those commanding talents which are, 
on all occasions, sufficient to ensure general attention ; 
nor am I gifted with that physical strength which 
might enable me successfully to resist the clamorous 
interruptions of those who are determined to put me 
down. But I wish that gentlemen would consider, 
not the slender claims of the advocate, but the para- 
mount importance of the cause in behalf of which he 
stands forward — a cause involving the glory of God 
and the happiness of man — a cause which is dear to 
the constituencies of many of the very individuals 


who are endeavouring to prevent it from obtaining a 
respectful hearing by their ill-timed and boisterous 
interruption.' This manly appeal," adds Sir George, 
" produced the desired effect, and he was afterwards 
suffered to proceed without any renewed manifesta- 
tions of impatience." 

Few, indeed, who came into personal contact with 
him, were proof against what Milton calls " the ir- 
resistible might of meekness, " with which he bore up 
against such assaults. Even those who disrelished 
him most as the Christian senator, were wholly dis- 
armed of their personal antipathy when they discov- 
ered the genuine spirit of the Christian gentleman. 
Nothing affected him more than the cold contempt- 
uous looks with which he was regarded by some who 
moved in the same circle of Ufe, and who seemed 
disposed to treat him as one who had rendered him- 
self unworthy of their society. " I assure you, my 
dear Sir," he once remarked, while the tear glistened 
in his eye at the recollection, — " it was hard to bear!" 
And when we consider, that in his constitutional tem- 
perament there was a certain pride, or, at least, a 
sense of personal dignity and propriety, which shrunk 
with peculiar sensitiveness from contumely and con- 
tempt, we cannot fail to recognise, in the fortitude 
which he displayed under this '^ trial of cruel mock- 
ings," a singular triumph of heavenly grace. "I 
remember an anecdote of him," says an intimate 
friend,* '* which I thought very touching. We were 
speaking one day of the difficulty of confessing Christ 

• James Balibur, jun., Esq., W.S. 


before the world. It waB afiecting to hear him ac- 
knowledge this difficulty, who had borne Christ's 
reproach so manfully and so meekly in all places. 
He told me, that when he first began to take up the 
cause of the Sabbath, there were many worldly men 
who dishked him so much that they seemed anxious 
to stare him out of their company, and that he had 
felt this particularly at the Ifew Club. One hon- 
ourable baronet, not satisfied with this species of 
annoyance, when he saw that Sir An4rew had cour- 
age enough to despise it, and to frequent the club 
regularly every day notwithstanding, began speaking 
at him, and acting as rudely as he well could towards 
him. One morning. Sir Andrew was waiting for his 
breakfast at the club, when the baronet to whom I 
allude came in, apparently in great agitation. Sir 
Andrew, perceiving this, asked him if any thing was 
wrong; to which he replied that his lady had last 
night had an attack of paralysis, and that she was 
dangerously ill. Sir Andrew said he felt for him 
sincerely, and expressed his sympathy warmly. H^ext 
morning he met him again with his two sons, who 
had come to see their mother, and he asked for 

Lady with much interest. The answer was, 

that he had been sitting up with her all night, and 
that she was no better. Ultimately, however, she 
did recover; and on one occasion afterwards, the 
honourable baronet referred to came up to Sir An- 
drew, and, with feeling that did him great honour, 
said, ' Sir Andrew, there are many people who like 
to laugh at you and abuse you, because of your Sab- 


bath principles, and I confess that I have been among 
the number; but I trust I shall never so far forget 
myself again. A man gets a very different view of 
these subjects when standing beside what he thinks 
the dying bed of his wife.* Sir Andrew was much 
affected by this frank acknowledgment, and repUed, 
' I understand you perfectly, for I have experienced 
all the same feelings myself. I, too, was once opposed 
to religion. When I first proposed to bring my Sab- 
bath Bill into parliament, I felt the difficulty I had to 
encounter; and, after having given notice of the bill, I 
thought I should never have courage to proceed witli 
it. The day was drawing near on which my motion 
was to come on. Every day I felt my courage grow- 
ing less and less; when, just a day or two before, a 
messenger arrived from the country with intelligence 
that my mother had had a stroke of apoplexy, and I 
must hurry down to see her. 1 went accordingly, 
and it was when watching beside the bed of my dying 
mother that I got grace and strength to bring in my 
Sabbath Bill.' The conversation touched the feelings 
of both parties, and they ever afterwards entertained 
much respect for one another." 

We may now leave Sir Andrew for a while to en- 
joy himself in the bosom of his family, and embrace 
the opportunity of devoting a chapter to the vindica- 
tion of his character from the numerous misrepre- 
sentations to which it has been subjected. Jaded 
with his incessant labours in Parliament, he asked 
and obtained a month's leave of absence. Even this 
request, usually granted as a matter of course, he could 


not obtain^ it seems, without a parting hit from his 
Irish opponents. The following curious exhibition 
of their spirit (not included, of course, in the pro- 
ceedings of Parliament) was communicated by his 
friend, Mr William H. Hughes, M.P.: — "My dear 
Agnew," he writes, August 16, 1833, " I had great 
pleasure in executing your request, by moving a 
month's leave of absence to you on urgent private 
business; upon which Mr Buthven, senior, rose and 
said, gravely, 'Mr Speaker, I object to this motion, 
and must request that notice may be given of it. 
The House cannot spare the honourable baronet.* Of 
course, much laughter ensued, in the course of which 
the Speaker, with his accustomed gravity, said, * Does 
the honoiirable member persist in his motion ? ' I 
answered, * Certainly;' upon which he turned to 
Ruthven, and said, 'Does the honoiu*able member 
divide the House ? ' ' No,' ended the unusual scene, 
and the motion was granted." 




Now, Truth, perform thine office. Waft aside 

The curtain drawn by Prejudice and Pride. 

Reveal (the man is dead) to wond'ring eyes 

This more than monster, in his proper guise. 

He loved the world that hated him. The tear 

That dropped upon his Bible was sincere. 

Assailed by scandal and the tongue of strife. 

His only answer was a blameless life ; 

And he that forged, and he that threw the dart, 

Had each a brother's interest in his heart. — Cowper. 

Seldom^ indeed, has the picture of injured and in- 
sulted worth, so beautifully drawn by the poet of 
religion, been more fully realized than in the subject 
of these memoirs. The description applies to him, 
both in regard to the large amount and the flagrant 
injustice of the obloquy cast on his character. As to 
the former, his biographer may safely leave it to the 
recollection of his readers, aided by the facts he has 
thrown together ; and as to the latter, he has little 
more to do than to " waft aside the curtain," and to 


reveal the man as he really was, in the undis- 
guised outpourings of private life, and in the eyes 
of those who had the best opportunities to judge of 

Before noticuig the charges aflFecting his personal 
character, it may be proper to consider a little those 
'' occasions found against him concerning the law of 
his God." Having identified himself with religion, in 
one of the purest and loftiest of its behests, Sir Andrew 
drew upon himself all the odium which it excites in 
the unrenewed mind, and came in for a liberal 
share of those sobriquets or nicknames, under which 
the world seeks to hide its enmity to the divine 
law. In particular, his efforts to secure the better 
observance of the Sabbath were stigmatised as Ju- 
daism, Puritanism, and Asceticism. These charges, 
which really amount to the same thing under difie- 
rent aspects, admit of an easy refutation. The advo- 
cates of a lax observance of the day are fond of 
appealing to those passages in the gospel which seem 
to indicate that our blessed Lord, by changing the 
Jewish Sabbath into the Christian Sunday, intended 
to aboUsh the former, and convert it from a day of 
gloomy restraint into one of cheerful enjoyment. 
The reference, however, is pecuUarly unfortunate, 
both in an historical and rehgious point of view. 
That the Jews were scrupulous, to a ridiculous and 
superstitious excess, in the suspension of all sorts of 
manual labour on their Sabbath, is perfectly true. 
They carried their rigidity in this respect so far, as 
to extend the prohibition of carrying any burden on 



the Sabbath, to the carrying of a stick in their hand, 
or a piece of money in their pocket. And it was on 
this ground that they censured the act of the dis- 
ciples in rubbing the corn on the Sabbath-day: it 
was not the pleasant walk through the com fields : 
it was the manual exercise of rubbing the com that 
gave the offence, as a violation of the Sabbath rest, 
which, in their eyes, was merely corporeal. But so 
far were they from converting the day thus redeemed 
from ordinary toil into a season of ascetic gloom, 
that in point of fact, if we may judge from the 
practice of their descendants, they devoted it more 
than any oth^r day to carnal ease and festive in- 
dulgence. The Sabbathine rules enjoin the sons 
of Abraham to prepare for the feast, by laying in a 
stock of provisions the day before; and the costlier 
the viands and wine were, the more honour was 
done to the Sabbath. On that morning, they were 
allowed to repose in bed longer than usual. On 
rising, they were to dress themselves in their best 
attire, and, after finishing the services of the sjma- 
gogue, to prepare themselves for social pleasure. 
Forgetting all worldly cares, and avoiding all sadness 
of countenance, they were literally to '* make glad 
and be merry ; '* the festal cup was to circulate freely, 
and the conversation to turn on topics of a light and 
amusing character. Marriages were frequently cele- 
brated on Sabbath, and the evening was occasionally 
spent in music and dancing. Such was the '^ Judai- 
cal observance of the Sabbath," sanctioned by the 
most solemn rules of the Jewish rabbles, and prac- 


tised in many places to the present day.* It will be 
observed, that it is precisely the mode of observance 
for which our anti-Sabbatarians so lustily plead, in 
the very act of loudly denouncing it ! But the real 
design of our Lord must be apparent to all who will 
look candidly at the matter for a single moment. The 
Sabbath practices of the Jews afforded him an ex- 
cellent opportunity of rebuking the hypocrisy which 
" strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel," which 
^^ tithed mint and anise and cummin, forgetting the 
weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and 
the love of God." It enabled him, at the same time, 
to put the Sabbath law on its proper footing, and to 
show that its rest was not inconsistent with works of 
necessity and mercy, any more than of piety. But 
certainly he could not charge the Jews with a morose 
observance of the Sabbath. K he censured them at 
all in this point, it must have been for indulging a 
selfish love of ease and pleasure, at the expense of 
misery which they would not relieve, and of duty 
which they failed to perform. 

England has never forgotten the stem drilling to 
which she was subjected during the latter days of 
the Commonwealth, when too many practised devo- 
tion as a trade, and virtue was enforced at the point 
of the bayonet. The term "Puritan" is unhappily 
associated, in the English mind, with this period, 
and is redolent only of "Praise-God Barebones " 

* See Buxtorf' 8 Synagoga JudaicOy cap. xv : — 

Pulehrd lectui Btemaiur, 
Egregie mensa tnstruatur; 
Laetum te oitende ei alacrem, &c. 


and the Rump Parliament, of Mawworm and Hudi- 
bras. Sir Andrew came in for a full share of the 
odium connected with these stereotyped impersona- 
tions of cant and fanaticism ; and few things tended 
more to create a prejudice against him and his cause, 
than the impression, industriously kept up in certain 
quarters, that he meant to revive the reign of Puri- 
tanical austerity. H^othing, however, could be far- 
ther from the real truth. Few could be more oppo- 
site in all their notions, tastes, and habits, as regards 
the forms of reUgious observance, not to speak of 
state policy, than Sir Andrew and those rude and 
vulgar men whom the convulsions of their times 
raised to the surface of society during the enforced 
regime of Cromwell, and who for a time personated 
religion in power. These men, though he may have 
respected their motives, and shrunk from ridiculing 
their piety, he would have been among the last to 
follow as models of religious legislators. He knew 
how to distinguish betwixt the burlesque exhibition 
of religious feeUng, more or less justly ascribed to 
that period, and the good old Puritan piety, accom- 
panied with that sacred reverence for the Sabbath 
which distinguished the flower of the English clergy, 
long before Cromwell appeared on the stage, and 
before Laud, with his Service-book in the one hand 
and his Book of Sports in the other, had goaded the 
nation into frenzy, bringing Puritanism, and every 
thing like serious religion, into disrepute. He could 
understand, too, how there might be a happy medium 
between the unnatural tension of that age and the 


unbridled dissipation of the period that followed^ 
when, even with a merry monarch on the throne, a 
merry poet on the stage, and a merry preacher in 
the pulpit, England was far from being a merry 
nation, but required another revolution, restoring 
something like the decency of Puritanism as it ex- 
isted previous to the days of the Commonwealth, 
ere she could recover her spirits, and regain the tone 
of her shattered constitution. 

The charge of asceticism, to which the others all 
point, was equally unmerited by Sir Andrew. The 
unnatural and factitious state of society in such over- 
grown cities as London, the lower classes of whose 
population live in a state of wretchedness, for which 
neither legislation nor philanthropy have as yet 
been able to suggest an effective remedy, afforded 
too ample a pretext, of which his opponents took 
an ungenerous advantage, for representing him as an 
enemy to the innocent recreations indispensable to 
the health and comfort of the labouring poor. Well 
did they know that the class by whom the restraints 
of a better observance of the Sabbath would be really 
felt, were only the idle and the profligate ; while the 
reUef it afforded would be realized by the industrious 
and well-disposed portion of the community. But 
the temptation was too strong to reverse the picture, 
and to represent Sir Andrew as the unwitting patron 
of idleness and profligacy, and the unpitying jailer 
of hardworking industry. Whoever might be to 
blame, it was certainly not his fault that the poor, 
in certain localities, could obtain from a heartless 


world no other day for bodily recreation than that 
which God challenged for his own worship. It was 
not for hira to solve the problem of a reign of uni- 
versal justice, when man would cease to exact from 
man an amount of labour incompatible with the laws 
of health, and barely endurable at the expense of 
the only day reserved for the welfare of his immortal 
soul. His object was to secure it as a day of rest 
for all ; and he could plead at least that, whatever 
use men might make of the time thus rescued from 
worldly toil, it was never intended by its Author to 
be spent in mere animal relaxation ; that the spiritual 
character which Christianity stamps on the Sabbath 
stands opposed to every form of sensuous indulgence; 
that the day is set apart for the study not of the 
works of nature, but of the wonders of revelation ; 
that we are so much the slaves of sense as to be 
unable, without shutting our eyes on the world 
around us, to hold converse with the reaUties of the 
world unseen ; and that when the King of Heaven 
invites us into his palace, it is a poor apology 
for evading the summons to say, that we have been 
sauntering all day in the adjoining pleasure-grounds. 
There could not, however, be a greater mistake 
than to suppose that Sir Andrew was an enemy to 
innocent mirth and recreation. In his religion there 
was nothing of the gloom of asceticism. It was not 
the devotion of the monastery, immured in living 
sepulchres, conversant only with skulls and scholasti- 
cism, and attired in weeds beseeming a corpse laid 
out for the grave. His was the " religion pure and 


undeBled before God and the world" — which is a 
thing of Ught and life, scattering flowers and fruits, 
delighting in the sunlight, shedding a charm over 
the beauties of nature — ^lighting up the dark abode 
of poverty — and clothing with smiles even the ghastly 
cheek of disease and death. IJor was there any 
thing in his personal temperament resembling the 
moroseness or the melancholy of the fanatic. On 
the contrary, he was the source and centre of en- 
joyment to all around him. In the social circle, 
full of amusing anecdote and harmless repartee, he 
was, in fact, " the life of the company." '* If I had 
invited a few friends," says one, " and was anxious 
to secure a cheerful guest to entertain them with good 
stories, I was sure to think of Sir Andrew." 

A few specimens of the familiar correspondence 
with which he relieved his mind in the midst of his 
more serious and arduous pursuits, and so different 
from the usual tenor of his business correspondence, 
may give some idea of the playful humour by which 
he was characterised. They are addressed chiefly 
to his female relatives : — 

" House of Commons, Friday Night — My dear Cousin, — 
The debate having become tedious — ceasing to interest the 
mind through weariness — ^reflection arising and conscience 
twinging — I am reminded of my omissions towards you, as 
also towards my other cousin, of whose indisposition I heard 
with much regret, and of whose plate you must have sup- 
posed me forgetful. But the very morning on which I had 
the honour of conducting you from the Ventilator and his 
Majesty's particular coach, I did, immediately on returning 


to the House, make anxious enquiry of Mr Spring Rice as 
to whether the Treasury, of which he is Secretary, would 
permit plate to pass the Custom-house without paying a 
ruinous rate of duty. His reply was, that their rule was 
absolute — not to permit foreign workmanship to pass ; and 
that the only exception allowed was, when the plate had 
been presented by public bodies, or for public services. 
Although I entertain a high sentiment of Miss Louisa's 
merits in a national point of view, yet I was not prepared 
to depone that all the plate in question was the gift of an 
ungrateful coimtiy. Do set me right on this point" 

" Saturday Night — Your letters are franked ; and as it 
is an abuse to exercise the privilege on epistles unpolitical, 
doubtless your protocols contain specifics for the disentangle- 
ment of the affairs of Europe. If, as Mr Canning predicted, 
the war of opinions has commenced, it must be an act of 
patriotism, in all directions, to fire off opiniona Many 
thanks for your promise to be ready in good time in the 
morning. The late Lord Ashburton, when boarded with 
Dugald Stewart in Edinburgh, had great difficulty in get- 
ting to the early class-room; but, on being remonstrated 
ii^dth, his lordship overcame the bad habit by going to bed 
in his clothes. Pray don't tiy the same experiment, as your 
bonnet might be uncomfortable.'' 

" Tuesday. — ^Your note arrived as I was on the point of 
going out. In my pocket and in my head has it since re- 
mained, much to the puzzlement of the latter as to what 
you could mean. I sent you no address yesterday. I never 
insinuated that a lady's age ever varied from the cradle to 
the tomb. On the contrary, I have ever admired the 
promptitude of female delicacy, which, when asked the 
most important of all interrogatories, repUed, 'Oh! no par- 
ticular age, sir.' The term, * a certain age,' is a blot on the 
English language. You ask, if I am the one to speak the 


voice of the ladies? No ! they have not shown their wonted 
discrimination. Did they but know how fiilly I am im- 
pressed with the fact, that civilization in all countries begins 
with the ladies, and that then, upon the paltiy principle of 
imitation, it descends to that other class of mortals ; — ^and 
did they but see the application of this my conviction, from 
deep research, namely, that alone by the admission of the 
fair sex can we hope to see politics give way to politeness 
within the walls of Parliament ; — did they but know — ^but 
I beg pardon, if I have expressed myself too strongly in the 
heat of debate, occasioned by the insinuation, unintended, 
no doubt, in your note. It is scarcely possible for people to 
keep their tempers, who are opposed in politics ; — yet be- 
lieve me, as ever, affectionately and faithfully yours." 

^' Blackheathy Wednesday. — Although you have cut me, 
and do not deign to tell me even the state of the weather 
in Galloway, but let me know, in a round-about way, of the 
phenomena of frost, snow, and rain, — yet I am forgiving, 
and hasten to inform you that we have had rain, snow, and 
frost here ; and what is still more notable, that Lady A. 
continues well, and that Mr and Mrs M. S. were successfully 
smuggled over to Franca I have just now had the agree- 
able intelligence, that all my letters, which have been pain- 
fully wending their way through the snow, have, by mistake, 
been careftdly returned back to Carlisle I 

" Many thanks for your anxiety ; although I am aware 
that it is confessing a lower state of humanity, to take de- 
light in causing anxious thoughts to one's friends, rather than 
pleasurable. Pardon me for not having thanked you for 
your note on temperance. Very active assistance, at this 
moment, I could not undertake, as I have, for the present, 
as much on my hands as my small measure of strength of 
body can overtake ; and not being an unengaged layman, 
I am sure you would not ask me to stand all day in the 


Grassmarket — at least, not unless you will stay there with 

We may now convey our readers to Lochnaw, 
and allow them to see Sir Andrew at home. In pay- 
ing this visit, our first cicerone shall be Mr Andrew 
Johnston : — 

^* At the end of the session of 1833 (a heavy session it was, 
with Slavery, the Sabbath, and the beginning difficulties of 
the Scottish Church to deal with), I returned to Scotland 
with Sir Andrew and his family by an Edinburgh steamer. 
He was all cheerfulness and urbanity — full of faith and hope 
for his great work, and of enjoyment in the prospect of 
coimtry relaxation. Later in the autumn, I had the privi- 
lege of paying a delightful visit to Lochnaw Castle. The 
brightness of that beautiful spot and most interesting family 
group is deeply impressed on my mind. Sir Andrew was 
beaming at home and among his children. He seemed to 
expand in their society, and among his own people. I well 
recollect the kindness and interest with which he entered 
into the concerns of the neighbouring ministers, several of 
whom I met at his hospitable table. They looked upon him 
as a sympathizing Christian friend, for this they foimd him. 
His playfulness with his children was delightful. He joined 
with zeal in their amusements ; and the picture of him is 
vividly before me, dancing with all spirit with a flock of his 
dear young ones aroimd him. Most perfectly did all this 
combine and blend with his dignified seriousness at his 
family worship, with his attention and diligence in all mat- 
ters of benevolent business, and with his undaunted, yet 
simple acknowledgment of the Lord and His law in the 

Om* next companion, in visiting this domestic scene, 
is a lady, in whom all will be delighted to meet 


80 keen an observer and so graceful a delineator of 
character, as Miss Catharine Sinclair : — 

" I am glad to take the opportunity, at your request, of 
mentioning whatever recollections may occur to me of one 
who was the perfect model of a Christian gentleman. It is 
indeed seldom that so much courtesy of manner is united 
with so much firmness of principle ; and it was impossible to 
meet in society, without both affection and respect, one who 
lost no opportunity to recommend religion by the most 
pleasing example of imdeviating kindness. He had evidently 
the charity of 'hoping all things' for all who came within 
the reach of his influence, and seemed to have a quick 
eye for whatever was good in others, and a blind eye to 
their faults. I once spent a Sunday at Lochnaw, and still 
remember with interest seeing all Sir Andrew's theories re- 
duced in his own home to practice in so pleasing and truly 
Christian a manner. As he did not use his carriage that 
day, he walked some miles to church and back;* during 
which his conversation was most improving, and enriched 
Mrith many curious anecdotes, in which he always abounded. 
I remember, after our return, the ladies assembled round 
the fire, and had degenerated into some very small talk 
upon everyday gossip ; when Sir Andrew, having entered 
unperceived, very kindly but seriously remarked that we 
'had rather wandered from the subjects most suitable to 
that sacred day;' and, firom the pleasant, good-humoured 
tone in which he made the observation, it recalled our 
thoughts without causing any annoyance. 

* Sir Andrew, anxious to avoid even the semblance of employing 
Sabbath labour, never went himself in the carriage on Sunday ; but 
the carriage usually went, at an early hour, with such of the family or 
visitors who could not walk the distance (two miles) to church. The 
coachman put up his horses near the church, attended himself, and never 
rose till the whole service was concluded. 

204 SIR Andrew's humour. 

" He used to be amused at all the stories, and even cari- 
catures, which his advocacy of the Sabbath gave rise to ; and 
I have often laughed with him about the link-boys in Lon- 
don on Saturday night calling out at the Opera, * Sir Andrew 
Agnew's carriage stops the way!' Also, the print amused 
him much in which he was represented prying into a brewer s 
vat, and saying, * I do believe this beer is working on Sun- 
day!' No one enjoyed a jest with more hearty humour. I 

well remember walking home with him at G , after 

hearing a sermon in favour of temperance, in which the 
clergyman remarked that there was probably not one of the 
congr^ation present who had not been frequently intoxi- 
cated. The way in which Sir Andrew rallied the ladies on 
this unexpected assertion caused us much amusement He 
amused us one day by describing the travels of an English- 
man, who made many ridiculous mistakes in the French 
language; and, among others, called loudly to the waiter in 
a crowded cafe, * Oarfon, apportez-moi quelq' un k manger?' 
Sir Andrew often entertained us for hours with anecdotes of 
his distinguished contemporaries in Parliament, and spoke 
kindly even of those who had most vehemently opposed his 
favourite bill On that subject he was indeed enthusiastically 
zealous; and I always hoped that, as Wilberforce was privi- 
leged to witness the success of his efforts respecting the slave 
trade, he might also, before he entered on his eternal Sab- 
bath, see it established to the fullest extent in this country. 
Though this has not been the divine will, yet the bill is 
passed in many private houses, where the eyes of people 
were opened, by his efforts, to see in a new light the obliga- 
tions of that sacred day; and there can be no doubt that 
even those who do not observe all Sir Andrew's rules, are 
nevertheless made aware that it is wrong to transgress 

As it is of importance to see how the same scene 



struck diflferent ininds^ we may place ourselves under 
the guidance of another excellent judge — Mr John 
Dunlop, London : — 

" It would be out of place here to attempt a description 
of the beauties of Lochnaw Castle, and the various excel- 
lencies of its inmatea One or two trifles, though scarcely 
worth narrating, struck me at the time as indicative of Sir 
Andrew's hospitality and good-will to his guests. I had 
arrived in the same carriage with Dr Symington and Ge- 
neral M'Douall, near the dinner hour. After being kindly 
welcomed in the great hall, we were shown our rooms by a 
servant ; and in a minute after, I was siuprised by a tap at 
the door, and by my coinleous landlord himself bringing in 
^ luggage in propria persona. ' Is all yours here V said 
be. ' No,' said I ; ' a Swiss bear-skin knapsack is awanting.' 
* Oh!' replied he, 'you shall have it in a moment ; it being 
a military-looking appendage, I thought it had belonged to 
General M'Douall, and have left it at his door.' 

" I made some temperance jaunts to Fortpatrick and 
elsewhere, and returned to Lochnaw; and one evening, sit- 
ting by ourselves at the fireside, and talking over the matters 
we were engaged in, we got into a jocular mood, and Sir 
Andrew entertained me with an account of himself and 
other gentlemen, who having been all night at a country 
inn, some messages they had referred to the conduct of Mr 
Boots had been omitted on his part, which caused consi- 
derable disarrangement ; and the evil had arisen from this 
functionary having exceeded his usual potations, and being 
at the moment not only * veiy particularly drunk,' but per- 
fectly competent, in his own opinion, to justify his conduct, 
and put things into such a train as would set all right in a 
very short space. Sir Andrew started up, and, with con- 
fflderable comic effect, acted the inebriated Boots in such a 
way as to amuse me greatly. The contrast between our 


usual avocations, and Sir Andrew s ordinary gravity of de- 
portment, no doubt adding to the vis comica of this ' merrie 
passage.' " 

Such as formed their opinion of him merely from 
his obnoxious "bill," or rather from the exaggerated 
pictures of it in ordinary circulation, were greatly 
surprised on finding all their pre-conceived notions 
of the man contradicted by his personal appearance. 
" He looks mild and good-natured," says one writer, 
" rather than grave and serious ; and when he rises 
to address the House, he has nothing of the appear- 
ance of a zealot.'* ♦ " He is so different from what 
I expected," said a gentleman, who saw him for the 
first time at Exeter Hall: "I expected to see a 
large fat man, with a white neckcloth!" "He is 
quite a young man," said his friend. " Yes," was 
the reply, "and a nice-looking young man!" By 
those, however, who knew him well, no man was 
more expected to enter into an innocent frolic, and, 
in fact, to take the lead in it. The following trait is 
highly characteristic of Sir Andrew, as showing the 
spirit and good humour with which he entered into 
any of his neighbours' projects in which he could 
sympathize, and at the same time his carefulness in 
bringing in his great principle into every thing he 
did. In 1835, the gentlemen of the county of Wig- 
toun resolved on running a mailcoach for the ac- 
commodation of the more rural districts. When 
Sir Ajidrew returned from his duties in Parliament, 
he was asked to take shares in the concern ; which 

* Grant's Random Recollectiona, 

" THE MACHAR'S mail." 207 

he agreed to do, on the express stipulation " that it 
should ply upon the six lawful days of the week 
only." This condition was cordially entered into, 
and was, after some difficulty, allowed by the Post- 
office ; so that this was " the only mailcoach in the 
whole kingdom that rested on the Sabbath." It was 
an interesting sight to see the guard, in his scarlet 
livery, attending public worship with his neighbours 
on the Lord's day. This coach, which Sir Andrew 
called " The Country Gentlemen's Plaything," and 
which the people had dubbed " The Tory Coach" at 
the election, but the proper designation of which 
was " The Machar's Mail," has now been given up, 
Bs too expensive. In order, however, to give it a 
fair chance of success at the outset, it was proposed 
among the gentlemen one evening, that some of the 
company should get up one of those pompous and 
highly-coloured statements, commonly called " puffs," 
the subject being " The Mailcoach." Sir Andrew 
wrote the following, which afterwards appeared in 
the Dumfries Courier: — 

" Have any of our readers passed from Liverpool to Glas- 
gow during the winter months, and do they retain a Uvely 
recollection of the pains and penalties of sea-sickness when 
off the Mull of Gtelloway? If there are any such, we con- 
gratulate them on the establishment of a branch mail- 
coach, whereby every facility will be given for such as em- 
bark at Liverpool in *the Countess of Galloway' steamer, 
to proceed per coach from Wigtoun, &c. &c. 

" Or have we any friends at Belfast, who have learned 
by sad experience what it is to combat the waves as they 
roll towards the Isle of Man en route to Liverpool ? Again 

208 A " pnFF. 


we oflFer our felicitationa For, not only do his Majesty's 
steampackets continue their daily passages from Donagha- 
dee to Portpatrick, but the timid traveller, being safely con- 
veyed to Stranraer, will }ye rejoiced to find, for the first time 
in his life, a royal -mailcoach in readiness to transport him, 
with all comfort, to Wigtoun or Garlieston, from whence ' the 
Countess of Galloway' pursues her even course to the dock 
of Liverpool The local advantages which this never-ceas- 
ing communication must afford to the opposite sides of 
Wigtounshire, it were presumptuous in us to point out ; 
for, the Sabbath-day always excepted, the new coach will 
start, &C. &a The public may be assured that every atten- 
tion will be paid to their comfort, as no expense will be 
spared by the contractors — ^who are no other than the prin- 
cipal landed proprietors of the county — who have volun- 
tarily come forward for the laudable purpose of facilitating 
their internal communication, and of giving more complete 
effect at the several ports to the admirable steam naviga- 
tion for which their maritime position affords so many 

ISTot content with this brochure, Sir Andrew penned 
two new stanzas in honour of the enterprise, to the 
tune of " The Old Country Gentleman," — a favourite 
song of his cousin. Stair Hathom Stewart, Esq. of 
PhysgllL When Mr Stewart used to sing the song, 
and was asked, " That 's a new verse, Stewart ! who 
wrote it ? " he often surprised the questioner by the 
reply — " Sir Andrew ! " The new verses were : — 

Your modem beau can sleep ao slow, 

Or hunt (as we are told) 
Perhaps at noon — ^if up so soon — 

But mark the squire of old ! 
With hawk and hound, of ample bound. 


And flourish of French horn, 
Ere cock would crow, he off would go 

And sweetly wake the morn — 
O he was a fine old country gentleman, 

All of the olden time. 

In days of yore, his coach and four, 

With long-tailed nags so slow — 
Like snails at race, their ambling pace, — 

But all are long laid low. 
Now steamboat power, twelve miles the hour, 

With rapid speed we go ; 
And flying wheel, for public weal, 

Our royal-mails they go ! 
Long live the country gentlemen. 

Who love the people sol 

It may be here remarked, that while still subjected 
to much public abuse in his place in Parliament, few 
of the members could come into personal contact 
with him without receiving a favourable impression 
of his character. Often might he be seen in close 
converse with some of his most violent opponents — 
explaining his measure — or turning away their wrath 
by " a soft answer" in the shape of a quiet jest or 
an apposite story. One day an honourable member 
began to dispute with him the principle laid down 
in the report of his committee, "that it is the duty 
of legislators to promote, by all suitable means, the 
glory of God." " No man," he said, " can glorify 
God. The glory of God! such an idea is almost 
blasphemous." Sir Andrew quoted the text, '' Whoso 
offereth praise, glorifieth me." " Oh, I don't mean 
that ! " replied the other, confusedly. (Sir Andrew 
always observed that even a sceptical man felt uneasy 



when met with Scripture language.) " And do you 
not agree with the catechism of your own church?" 
returned Sir Andrew, quoting the words, " Man's 
chief end is to glorify God." Another memher once 
told him that his arguments for Sabbath observance 
could apply only to the seventh day — to Saturday. 
" Very well," returned Sir Andrew, " support me in 
ray details, and you can propose an amendment in 
committee, that the day to which the act is to 
apply shall be the Jewish Sabbath ; " — a proposition 
which the other laughingly declined. Pleading, on 
another occasion, the cause of those oppressed with 
Sabbath labour, in conversation with an aged mem- 
ber of known benevolence. Sir Andrew was rejoiced 
to see some symptoms of relenting. " Well, well," 
exclaimed the good old gentleman, ^' there is much 
truth in what you say, and I should be willing to do 
something, though you know I am not one of the 
saints." " You may not be so," was the meek reply, 
*' but after all, what is the great diflference between 
the saint and the sinner, except in this, that the 
saint, as you call him, sees himself still more a sinner 
than other men do, and therefore more cordially 
accepts the sinner's offered salvation ? " 

To the vulgar charge of hypocrisy — so familiar to the 
lips of many, who, having " said in their heart, there 
is no God," would fain persuade themselves that 
there can be no godliness, and so often cast in Sir 
Andrew's teeth — " his only answer was a blameless 
life." None that knew him, even among his most 
violent opponents, ever doubted his sincerity. Mr 


WaMey^ who is a great phrenologist^ and raised a 
laugh in Parliament once by adding as a climax to 
some compliment he was payings *' It is just what I 
should have expected from the organization of his 
head ! " came up to Sir Andrew in the House and 
said, " Sir, I once thought you a great hypocrite, 
and I heard many attacks upon your character ; but 
the moment I saw you I could say, that is an honest 
man, Tou have a large development of veneration^ 
and you cannot help acting as you do." 

The longer he persevered in his parliamentary 
efforts, the more thoroughly did his high moral in- 
tegrity commend itself to both friends and foes. In 
the House he may be said to have lived down all 
suspicion. I^othing became more common with his 
opponents than to preface their speeches by declaring 
their full belief of the " conscientious sincerity," the 
" excellent intentions," and the " praiseworthy per- 
severance" of the honourable baronet. *' His aim," 
says Mr Andrew Johnston, '^ was protection, and 
much as he was maligned for supposed interference, 
nH he proposed only went to give all classes liberty 
to rest on the Lord's day. When I say maligned, I 
mean by newspapers, and persons who knew him 
not. In the House he was always a great favourite ; 
every one liked him; and even his greatest op- 
ponents — ^while they begged him not to ' Scotchify* 
their Sunday — could not resist his pleasant manners 
and manly good temper. I recollect the good- 
natured conversations he would hold with Mr Wakley 
and others who set themselves stoutly against him." 


Here wc might have subjoined a multitude of 
attestations^ some of them from the very highest 
quarters, to the '* simpUeity and godly sincerity" of 
the worthy baronet. But instead of this species of 
evidence, which seems quite superfluous in the case 
of one whose whole life gave the lie to the charge 
of hypocrisy, we prefer recording the homely tribute 
of one formerly noticed as a confidential servant. 
" No man," it has been said, " can be a hero to his 
own valet-de-chambre." But the sterling virtues of 
the Christian hero are not such as strike only at a dis- 
tance, and vanish on a nearer approach. " If I had 
the other necessary qualifications for giving utter- 
ance to it,'* says this good man, " I have certainly 
had the most ample opportunities of witnessing his 
manner of hfe for a long period of years; during 
that time feeling myself so identified with him that 
I have ' wept with him when he wept,' and * rejoiced 
with him when he rejoiced ; ' being an eye-witness of 
his conduct in the most exciting and trying circum- 
stances, as well as in the vicissitudes of everyday 
life ; — and I can truly say, that although I have read 
the lives of great and good men, I never did witness 
the consistent life of a Christian gentleman, any 
thing hke that exemplified by the late Sir Andrew 
Agnew. As a father, you know his value; as a 
landlord, he was kind, considerate, and forbearing ; 
as a master (I speak from the experience of thirty 
years), he made service a pleasure ; and to a remark- 
able extent he wisely considered the case of the 
door. He was truly their friend; the group of 


widows and their children every Monday at the 
meal-store, and the greatly increased numbers from 
all the surrounding parishes on every quarter-day, 
for their weekly and quarterly allowance of meal, 
was evidence of his concern for their bodies; his 
anxiety to have the gospel preached in the destitute 
localities, the establishing and supporting of week- 
day and Sabbath schools, were evidences of his care 
for their souls. 

'* I well remember Sir Andrew coming to Lochnaw 
on a Saturday night. A great many improvements 
had been going on round the castle in his absence ; 
the Sabbath was a beautiful day, and many thought 
he would be out looking at the improvements, know- 
ing the great interest he took in them, but no ! — ^he 
never went out except to church. Some seemed 
anxious to know if he had been out seeing the 
grounds, and others, not seeing him out, inquired if 
he was well. I told them I was happy to say Sir 
Andrew was quite well, and had been looking after 
improvements more valuable and lasting than those 
around the castle ; for I believed he had not spent 
but enjoyed the Sabbath in communion with his 

The personal insults heaped on Sir Andrew were 
often such as, had they been offered to a mere man 
of the world, would doubtless have been understood 
to lead to those hostile meetings which, in certain 
circles, are deemed essential to the vindication of 
outraged honour. But those who offered them to 
Sir Andrew knew that they ran no risk of provoking 


such retaliation; that^ having to deal with the Chris- 
tian gentleman, who had learned in another school 
than that of the world not to "avenge himself," 
they might be rude with impunity, and as uncivil as 
they chose, without danger of a challenge. The 
following incident, which amused Sir Andrew very 
much, shows not only the bitter hostility which the 
very mention of his name was sufficient to awaken, 
but the provoking character of the abuse in which 
it found expression. When Sir Andrew and his 
family were travelling up to London, about the year 
183d, they had stopped at an inn on the road for 
the night, not far from town. The house being full, 
the landlord asked the servant (the faithful John 
Gibbs) if he would go into the traveller's room, as 
there happened to be but one gentleman there, a 
request with which John, always accommodating, at 
once complied. He found the young traveller a 
very agreeable companion at first, and the two got 
at last on so intimate a footing, that on separating 
for the night, they mutually expressed a wish to be 
made acquainted with each other's names and call- 
ings. The traveller announced his name first, upon 
which John, with a feeling of honest pride, after 
giving his own name, added that he was the servant 
of Sir Andrew Agnew, and was accompanying his 
master to ParUament. ^o sooner had the name 
passed his lips, than a complete change came over 
the countenance, the manner, and the whole de- 
meanour of the stranger. He burst forth into the 
most abusive language ; he applied every opprobri- 


ous epithet to the name; wished Sir Andrew any 
where but on his journey to London, or sitting in 
the House again, with his abominable bill, for which 
he had no designation bad enough. The torrent of 
invective ran so high and so long, that poor John 
was dumb for a while, from actual astonishment at 
the change in his companion; but at length, his 
patience fairly exhausted, he started up and declared 
he would no longer sit quietly by and hear his mas-- 
ter so abused. This increased the storm ; and the 
Landlord, alarmed at the noise, arrived just in time 
to prevent high words from coming to hard blows. 
After hearing both sides, he declared John to be the 
aggrieved party, and, failing to obtain an apology 
from the enraged traveller, he apologised to John 
for having exposed him to such a scene, and thus 
soothed, he persuaded him to forgive and go quietly 
to bed. 




Parliament having been summoned to meet for the 
despatch of business on the 4th of February 1834, 
Sir Andrew was again at his post. He took a deep 
interest in all the leading questions of the day, par- 
ticularly in those relating to Ireland. To the Irish 
Education Bill he was opposed, on the ground of its 
sanctioning the Popish principle of denying the free 
use of the Bible, and not securing a bona fide Scrip- 
tural instruction. On the question of the repeal of 
the Union, we find him thus expressing himself: — 

" I may venture to state, that my feelings towards the 
people of Ireland are certainly far from hostile. On the 
contrary, from early associations, I have reason to entertain 
a sentiment of regard for that coimtiy; and, indeed, my 
particular wish is to aid every measure for the removal of 
those practical evils which affect her people. With regard 
to the question of the repeal of the Union, I may state, 
that when, some thirty or forty years ago, I was a schoolboy 
in Ireland, I recollect that all my companions spoke with 


horror of what was, at that time, considered the desti-uctioii 
of the independence of their country — the abolition of a 
domestic legislature by the Union ; but I am assured by my 
friends, that in consequence of the violence of the party 
who advocate the repeal of the Union, that feeling has alto- 
gether fled, and that those very persons are now as sincerely 
attached to the union of Ireland with this country as they 
were before hostile to it My hope and belief is, that if the 
Imperial Legislature will adopt those measures of ameliora- 
tion which that country requires, Ireland will at length 
settle down with England and Scotland as one happy and 
united kingdom." 

This statement^ as a matter of course, called up 
his old enemies, O'Connell and his tail. Mr Feargus 
O'Connor said " he reminded him of Rip Van Winkle, 
who slept on the Kaatskill hills for forty years, and 
on returning to his house, found the face of the 
country entirely changed, and knew no one person 
or thing." To this Sir Andrew rephed, that he had 
not obtruded his own opinions, but merely quoted 
those of his friends — a very different class of persons 
from the poor people who, in their wretched condition, 
had been too easily induced by O'Connelland his party 
to believe that any change would be an improvement.* 

The same kindly and hopeful spirit in regard to 
Ireland, he took every opportunity of expressing. At 
a meeting of the " Irish Society of London," held 
May Id, this year, he thus stated the results of his 
personal observations on the Irish emigrants in the 
western coast of Scotland, too often treated with 
aversion and careless contempt : — 

♦ Mirror of Parlvxment, Fob. 18, 1834, p. 207. 


" These men," he said, " were genendly without any edu- 
cation; and from that circumstance, and their less civilized 
habits, they were enabled to work at a much lower rate than 
the Scottish agriculturist could do. The consequence was, 
that the latter, not being able to stand against the competi- 
tion, was either obliged to go to some other part of the 
country, or to turn his attention to some other kind of em- 
ployment When the Irishmen became thus located, there 
was a strong disposition amongst them to send their children 
to school ; and therefore he had the hope, that, in the course 
of a little time, they should see a race of well-conducted and 
well-educated Irish grow up among them. In proportion, 
however, as they l^ecame educated, they acquired all the 
prudent and frugal habits of the Scotch (a laugh) ; and they, 
in their turn, were as little able to stand against the compe- 
tition of the poorer among their own countrymen, and were 
forced to give place to an inferior set of emigrants. He did 
not state this with the view of making any wondrous com- 
parison between the Scotch and Irish. Of course, he could 
not be suspected of any such intention, when he stated the 
fact that he himself was a born Irishman, He ascribed the 
difference to a sound Scriptural education ; and therefore 
would urge tliat the Irish be taught to read the Word of God 
in their native toDgue."* 

Meanwhile^ petitions for the better observance of 
the Sabbath again began to pour into Parliament 
from all parts of the country; and Sir Andrew, on 
the 1 Ith of March, again moved for leave to bring in 
a bill on that subject. Grave were the suspicions 
thrown out as to the character of this new bill, and 
many the hopes expressed that it would be something 
very different from its predecessor. It is amusing to 

• Record, May 22, 1843. 


mark the coolness and the tact with which^ in the 
skirmishing that preceded its introduction, he par- 
ried off all premature discussion on its merits. 

" Mr O'Dwyer. — May I be permitted to ask the honour- 
able member, whether there is any penal law in Scotland 
preventing the due observance of the Sabbath? I know there 
is no such law in England or Ireland ; and if it do not 
exist in Scotland, I cannot see the necessity for any legisla- 
tive interference on the subject. 

" Sir A. Agnew. — As a question has been put to me by the 
honourable gentleman, I shall endeavour to answer it It is 
not my object that the convenience of any man should be 
molested, but that the consciences of the poor should be 
protected against the avarice of their employers. 

" Mr Sanford. — I do hope that, in legislating upon this 
subject, due regard will be paid to the wants and wishes of 
the people. 

" Sir A. Agnew. — I repeat that I have no wish to interfere 
with the rehgious opinions of any class of persons, nor to 
infringe upon the recreations and amusements of the people. 

"Mr Roebuck — The difference is imperceptible to me 
between the sin of five hundred half-choked shopkeepers, who 
are passing up the Thames in a steamboat, and that of the 
persons who are enjoying themselves in Hyde Park— ex- 
cept, indeed, that the desecration in the latter case is ten 
thousand times greater. 

" Several honourable members (among whom was Sir A. 
Agnew) — ' Hear, hear.' 

" Mr Roebuck. — I am glad to hear that cheer from the 
honourable baronet, and I hope that he will stamp at the 
head of his bill the principle which I have laid down. 

" Sir A. Agnew. — I trust that when the House comes into 
committee upon the bill, honourable gentlemen will see that 
it is not open to the objections that have been urged. With 


respect to the shutting up of Hyde Park, it is a matter which 
cannot be touched by my bill, as it is entirely within the pre- 
rogative of the crown."* 

With some reluctance, leave was given to intro- 
duce the bill. At the same time, he and Mr Andrew 
Johnston obtained leave to bring in a bill '^ to amend 
and explain certain acts relative to the observance of 
the Sabbath in Scotland." Another motion which 
Sir Andrew repeated the same day, for a bill '* to 
enable local authorities to change Saturday and 
Monday fairs and markets to other days," did not 
meet with the same success. Tliis bill, which was 
drawn up by Mr Rochfort Clarke, and founded on 
the equitable principle " that it is the bounden duty 
of Parliament to remove, as much as possible, tm- 
pediments to the due observance, and temptations to 
the profanation of the Lord's day," was deemed liable 
to a thousand " impediments," which, by a majority 
of fifty, Parliament declared to be far more serious 
than any that stood in the way of a due observance 
of the Sabbath, 

There is reason to think, that at this period Sir 
Andrew had few, if any, in the House of Parliament 
who entirely sympathised with him in his resolution 
to re-introduce his bill, without abandoning the com- 
prehensive principle on which it was founded. Even 
his best friends, despairing of its success in the face of 
such opposition as that which it had encountered the 
previous session, were anxious to make some conces- 
sion to the spirit of the times, and lu'ged him, by 

* Minor of Parliamenty 1834; vol. i. pp. 508-652. 



every plea addressed to his sense of propriety, his 
prospects of usefulness, his hopes of their co-opera- 
tion, and even his regard to the sacred cause which 
he had at heart, to content himself with a more mo- 
derate measure of reform. " I wish exceedingly,'* 
writes one of his correspondents, who may be taken 
as a sample of the rest, '* that a bill brought in by 
you should pass this session ; for after all the toil, 
anxiety, and expense which you have had — to say 
nothing of the pelting which you have endured, I 
should be exceedingly sorry if your bill did not pass. 
But I am sure you will forgive me for saying, that 
unless there is an admission by its friends that it is 
to be very much disarmed of its present terrors to the 
holiday^mahing lower orders, all the so-called liberal, 
radical, or irreligious members will overbear the 
strength of the good. I think many reUgious people 
are of this mind." " You have been favoured," says 
another friend, for whose judgment Sir Andrew en- 
tertained the most sincere respect, '^ to accomplish a 
great good, by holding up the true standard of the 
observance of the Lord's day ; but I very much doubt 
whether any progress will be made by pressing it 
upon the House as matter of legislation in the whole 
breadth of your bill. I was confirmed in this im- 
pression the other day by a conversation with Lord 

S , in which he took this view of the matter, and 

added, that even if the bill could be carried, the re- 
action occasioned by it would sadly defeat the best 
wishes of its supporters. Now, in a matter of legis- 
lation, and having to do with the world a« it is, I am 

222 SIR Andrew's " obstinact*" 

inclined to think that one may take a too exclusirely ^ 

religious view of the subject, and, as it were, attempt 
to 'give that which is holy to dogs;' when Uhey will 
only turn again and rend you.'" It is extremely 
doubtful if, even among those who were prepared to 
support his bill, when once introduced, sheltering 
themselves under the promise to modify it in com- 
mittee, any one member would have ventured to 
propose it. So that, in so far as the odium or the 
honour of the bill is concerned. Sir Andrew may be 
said to have stood alone. 

Conscious, however, of standing on the unassailable 
rock of Heaven's own law, and of being backed by the 
sound religious feeling of the community, nothing 
could induce our champion to descend from his lofty 
position ; and not one of his warlike ancestors could 
have been more firm and undaunted in maintaining 
the post assigned them in battle. The world called 
this obstinacy; but his was not the narrow-minded 
stiffiiess of the bigot, or the crotchetty stubborn- 
ness of self-conceit. It arose from a high and well- 
informed sense of duty, similar to that which actuated 
our Scottish confessors in the days of the Stuart per- 
secutions;* and in this sense of the term, he could 

* Sir Andrew would frequently allude, in terms of high admiration, 
to the conscientious firmness of our martyrs, who, when ** brought be- 
fore kings and rulers for His name's sake," and prevented from acting 
as a church, if they could do no more, bore their " testimony," at least, 
in behalf of truth and duty. — (Luke xxi. 12, 13.) His Parliamentary 
supporters, aware of this, used to come up to him before a debate on his 
question with the inquiry, ** Well, Sir Andrew, are we to testifie to-night ? " 
The Record caught up the idea. ^ No man, acquainted in any degree 



afford to Bmile^ as be did, at the compliment paid 
him by the TimeSj which began one of its leading 
articles against him in these words: — "Well, Sir 
Andrew is certainly the most obstinate of men ! " So 
said the world. What was the verdict passed on the 
same feature of the man by the Christian public ? 
Let the following tribute, pronounced, amidst the 
cheers of his audience, by the Rev. Hugh Stowell 
of Manchester, at a public meeting held about this 
time, serve as a specimen : — 

« Sir Andrew has, with a modest sincerity of puipose, in- 
troduced his bill into Parliament, and fought his battle 
bravely. He has displayed a moral courage that does him 
honour. Courage is a great attribute, which often gilds the 
crimes of senators and warriors ; but the courage of Sir 
Andrew is a moral courage, that rests on the ardour of reli- 
gion. (Cheers.) The coiu^e of a Wellington may be termed 
cowardice, unaccompanied by a moral courage; and the same 
may be said of duelling, which is the worst species of cowai'- 
dice. What has Sir Andrew done ? Why, he has done more 
than meeting the cannon's mouth. He has braved the ridicule 
of the unthinking and irreligioua He has stood the attacks 
of that monster, satire — the laugh of the fool and the sneer 
of the wise. (Cheers.) " ♦ 

The day appointed for the second reading of Sir 
Andrew's bill was the 30th of April ; and we may 
conceive the feelings of tliose honourable members 

with Scripture, can fail to remark the vast importance attributed in the 
page of inspiration to the act of witnessing for God, This is, we are 
persuaded, the high privilege — ^the bounden and peculiar duty — of the 
church of Christ in this land, in this age." — Record^ June 4, 1836. 

• Speech delivered at a meeting to promote the due observance of the 
Lord's day, held at Liverpool. — Record, March 6, 1834. 


who were the professed champions of Sabbath 
amusement and recreation, when they discovered 
that it was substantially, and almost word for word, 
the same bill which they had succeeded in stranghng 
the year before ! Indeed it was, if possible, still more 
stringent ; for the exception in favour of the mail, 
which had never met with Sir Andrew's approval, 
was no longer visible. Irritated by the pertinacity 
which had re-produced a measure so obnoxious to 
their tastes and feelings, and at the same time 
conscious that a large body of their own consti- 
tuents were favourable to it, they set no bounds to 
their indignation. The Speaker, instead of allowing 
one on each side to be heard alternately, permitted 
seven ultra-radicals to speak in succession, who suc- 
ceeded in frightening off the more timid of Sir An- 
drew's supporters, and in submerging the bill under 
a flood of ridicule and invective. Mr E. Lytton 
Bulwer pointed against it his most elegant periods, 
interlarded with quotations from St Paul, TertuUian, 
and Hudibras, whom, he said, he would prefer to 
" the unerring wisdom of the Habakkuks and Eze- 
kiels, the Faint-nots and the Spare-nots, from whose 
rational fountain of faith the honourable baronet 
had deduced his principles." Mr Potter undertook 
the vindication of London dinners and pleasure par- 
ties from "the cruelty and injustice of the bill." 
Mr Poulter advocated a Sunday game at cricket; 
but allowed that the bill pressed with equal severity 
on the poor and the rich. Mr Roebuck broadly de- 
nounced all legislation in the matter; and in a style 


of the most violent rhodomontade^ in which personal 
abuse was largely mixed up with undisguised con- 
tempt of all serious religion/ he launched out against 
" such a preposterous^ such a tyrannical, such a pha- 
risaical bill as this;" declaring his determination to 
'' struggle with the honourable baronet in every 
stage of his measure, and divide the House on every 
clause ; and, if it should pass a second reading, to 
propose at the very outset in committee, that every 
gentleman shall lay down his carriage or a Sunday, 
and dispense with the attendance of every servant 
both in and out of doors." Another honourable 
member addressed the supporters of the bill in the 
following doggrel Unes : — 

** Raise not your scythes, suppressors of our vice, 
Beforming saints, too delicately nice. 
By whose decrees, our sinful souls to save. 
No Sunday tankards foam, no harhers shave; 
But pots undrawn and beards unmown display 
Your holy reverence of the Sabbath-day." 

In the midst of this torrent of scurrility and pro- 
faneness, the supporters of the bill, though some of 
them behaved bravely, were hardly listened to with 
common respect. Their voices were drowned in 
shouts of laughter, mingled with cries of "Oh! oh!" 
And Sir Andrew, perceiving, from the temper of the 
House, the impossibility of obtaining a fair or patient 
hearing, briefly summed up the debate. "He had 
not the power," he said, " through want of practice 
in pubhc speaking, as well as from want of talent, to 
enter into a full reply to the several observations 
made during the debate." Having adverted to a 


few of these^ '^ he reminded the House that he was 
not properly a volunteer in this cause ; that he had 
been pressed into the service by the force of the 
evidence produced before their committee^ and en- 
couraged to persevere by the petitions and urgent 
soUcitations of the constituencies of those very gen- 
tlemen who now so loudly opposed their wishes^ 
which he had embodied in his bill. As to the strin- 
gency of its provisions, he would only say, that all 
depended on the point from which they chose to 
view them. If viewed from below, beginning with 
protection to the poorer classes, the whole bill was a 
system of benevolence ; if viewed from above, with 
reference to the restraint laid on the upper classes, 
to prevent their employing the poorer to work for 
them on Sunday, then the bill was undoubtedly one 
of penalties toward the rich — and thence much of 
the opposition which had been that night expressed." 
The House then divided, when the numbers ap- 
peared — 

For the second reading .125 

Against it 161 

Majority against the bill 36* 

While the shouts of triumph raised by his oppo- 
nents were yet ringing in his ears, Sir Andrew 
penned the following lines to Lady Agnew: — 

« Thunday Morning, May 1, 1834. 

"Dearest, — We were heat last night, on the second 
reading, by a majority of 161 to 125. Many extraordinary 

• Mirror of Parliament, April 30, 1834, vol. ii. pp. 139a-1413. 
Record, May 6, 1834. 



things were spoken, especially by the radicals, which will 
surprise good people in the country; and the Speaker 
would not, or did not, catch the eye of any of my friends 
until the others had completely got possession of the mind 
of the House. Several of my friends did not get a bearing. 
An immense mass of petitions were presented at five o'clock, 
and yet very little regard was paid to their spirit thereafter. 
I postponed the Scotch Bill for a fortnight I am well con- 
tent, dearest, that all is well ordered ; and although I was 
the subject of all sorts of remarks during the night, yet I 
am thankful to say, that I was enabled to bear it all with 
perfect composura Although it was painful to find but 
little sympathy with that feeling in the country with which 
I had been in correspondence, yet it was satisfactory to re- 
collect that that better feeling did exist in the country; and 
I am thankful if, in any degree, I have been made instru- 
mental in cherishing its growth. To-day is the Lord's-day 
meeting at Exeter Hall, which will be a refreshment. May 
God bless you, prays your affectionate husband," 

The meeting here referred to, coming so close on 
the back of the scene we have described, proved in- 
deed ** a refreshment." Sir Andrew found himself 
in a different element — was brought into contact 
with the *' better feeling of the country with which 
he had been in correspondence," and which he had 
reflected in Parliament. The platform was occupied 
by a number of distinguished personages, among 
whom were the Bishops of London and of Chester, 
the Marquis Cholmondeley, Lord Mount Sandford, 
several members of Parliament, and ministers of 
various churches. The Earl of Chichester, who pre- 
sided over the large assemblage, paid a warm com- 
pliment to Sir Andrew; and the Rev. Theopliilus 



LcsBey, who represented the Wesleyan Methodists,* 
spoke of him as follows : — 

" I venerate the right honourable baronet now present : 
I was present in our last Conference, when his name was men- 
tioned with honour, and he was then marked out as the 
noble champion in the cause of religion and truth ; and though 
his bill may be cast out, his noble and unwearied efforts 
cannot ultimately fail. He has indeed been a persecuted 
man, and the blessing of those who are persecuted for 
righteousness' sake rests upon him ; and I rejoice to join 
with him under this persecution." "f 

But what was still more gratifying to the feelings of 

* This religious body manifested from the first the most cordial 
sympathy with Sir Andrew, and powerfully co-operated with him in his 
exertions. A copy of the following resolution, unanimously adopted by the 
Wesleyan Methodist Conference, August 13th, 1834, was transmitted to 
Sir Andrew : — '* That the cordial thanks of the Conference be most re- 
spectfully tendered to Sir Andrew Agnew, Bart.. M.P., for his renewed 
endeavours to promote a better observance of the Lord's day; — that the 
Conference assure him of their heartiest approbation of the recent efforts 
made in this cause (though unhappily without success) by himself and 
by the other distinguished persons who supported the principle of his 
bill ; — and that all our ministers, societies, and congregations, be again 
earnestly exhorted to afford their utmost aid, individually and collec- 
tively, to Sir Andrew Agnew and his parliamentary friends, in favour 
of any future measures which they, on due deliberation, shall deem it 
right to adopt, for the purpose of obtaining such legislative enactments, 
founded upon a digtinct recognition of the divine authoriti/ of the 
Christian Sabbath, as shall at least protect from annoyance, interruption, 
and injury, those classes of the community who conscientiously desire to 
keep holy that sacred day. Signed on behalf and by order of the 


" Jos. Taylor, President, 

** Robert Newton, Secretary.** 

t Report of Speeches delivered at the Third Annual Meeting of the 
Society for Promoting the Due Observance of the Lord's Day, in Exeter 
Hall, Thursday, May 1, 1834. 


Sir A ndrew, was the harmony between the tone of 
sentiment expressed at the meeting, on the subject of 
Sabbath legislation, with the grand principles for which 
he had contended. A practical illustration of the 
justness of these principles was afforded by one of the 
speakers, Mr Vyse, an extensive coach proprietor of 
Birmingham, who had, at considerable loss to him- 
self, taken one hundred and twenty horses off the 
road, to put a stop, as far as he could, to Sunday 
travelling — ^thus reUeving from one to two hundred 
men, who were most anxious to escape from the 
slavery of Sabbath labour, and to attend on divine 
service. This gentleman likewise stated the striking 
fact, that while the horses were off the road, owing 
to one day of rest, he had not had occasion to pur- 
chase a horse in three months; but when, at the 
instigation of his partners, he was obliged to put 
the greater portion of them on the road again, ho 
had been purchasing horses every week. He added, 
^^ I must say it is a hard case on one like me, with 
a family of seven children, to be obliged to break 
through a great commandment, or else to be entirely 
ruined. 1 was therefore in hopes that the bill of the 
honourable baronet would have met with a better 
fate, and that the legislature would have helped me 
to do what I cannot now accomplish, unless by the 
entire sacrifice of my worldly prospects. Indeed, I 
am now afraid to go home, for I feel that when I 
return I shall be obliged to send out my carriages 
and cattle again, or be a ruined man. I can state 
from my own experience, that there is a strong and 


growing disposition, among those connected with 
travelling and other classes, to be freed from the 
necessity of Sunday labour, and to be able to keep 
that day holy." The Bishop of Chester confirmed 
his remarks by relating a circumstance from his own 
knowledge, in which a shopkeeper, who was remon- 
strated with by his clergyman for not shutting his shop 
on Sabbath, replied, " Why, I cannot afford it, for I 
sell more on the Sunday than all the other da3rs of 
the week put together;" — but who, having been 
induced to make the trial, and questioned by the 
clergyman as to its result, confessed, " Sir, to tell 
you the truth, I have taken more money in the six 
months since I shut up my shop on the Sunday, 
than I did in any one year before, since I was in 

The grateful effect of this meeting on Sir Andrew 
is thus described by his cousin, the late Miss Emma 
Agnew, who retained to the last an enthusiastic ad- 
miration of his character : — 

" Do you recollect the morning after the bill was thrown 
out, amidst the most savage yells of exultation of O'Comiell 
and his tail, the Sabbath meeting that was held in Exeter 
Hall ? when not only many encouraging drcumstaaces were 
brought forward, but many good men made very interesting 
speeches, and resolutions most satisfactory were passed. I 
had wept over the scene of the previous evening, which I 
had witnessed from the Ventilator,* and at the meeting felt 
so rejoiced, that when dear Sir Andrew joined us after its 

* The Ventilator of the old House of Commons, to which ladies were 
admitted to hear the debates by special ticket from the Speaker, and 
where they heard well, although the members were not well seen. 


tennination, I held out my hand, I suppose with a look of 
congratulation ; — his eyes were moistened as he responded 
to my thoughts, * Heaviness may endure for a night, but 
joy cometh in the morning!'* I have often thought of 
that evening and that morning since. Not one word of 
anger, or murmur, or even vexation, was visible where his 
enemies (for their rancour was personal that night) were 
concerned ; — ^but heart and eyes both testified what he had 
felt, when the honour due to his God was given, and the 
sacred cause he had at heart was recognised" 

It may be here mentioned^ that Sir Andrew was 
in the habit of carrying about with him a little 
pocket edition of the Psalms (in the prose of the 
Bible), and when kept waiting in people's houses, or 
when alone in a quiet road or on a journey, he would 
resort to this treasury of religious experience; and 
" you have no idea," he would say, ** and I cannot 
give you any idea, of the comfort I have thus ex- 
perienced, the direction and calmness of purpose and 
feeUng under many trials, which this blessed httle 
book has brought to me," And then he would add, 
referring to the strange scenes of his electioneering 
days, ^' I hope it was not presumptuous in me, at such 
a time and engaged in such a work, to resort to 
God's pure and holy Word ? Do you think it was ? " 
" Certainly not," was the reply. " I am sure," he 
would add, " I may say at least that I always desired 
God's guidance, and that I might say and do nothing 
on which I could not ask His blessing."f 

* Psalm zxjL. 6. Version in the English Psalter, 
t The little Psalm-book, above referred to, is still extant, and bears wit- 
ness, in its well-worn aspect, to the constant use to which it was applied. 


Such manifestations of feeling, however, were re- 
served for the eye and ear of private friendship : in 
his place in Parliament, Sir Andrew was as unbend- 
ing as 

" A Stoic of the woods — a man without a tear/* 

He stoutly resisted a proposition to send his ob- 
noxious measure to a " committee up stairs" — a 
mode of despatching business somewhat similar to 
that of arbitration. He would not, he said, allow his 
bill to be quashed in a committee of gentlemen, 
who were " masters of their own time," and had not 
yet learnt to sympathise with the feelings of his poor 
labouring petitioners. He would have it discussed 
openly in the hearing of their constituents and of the 
country; and he therefore gave notice of his intention 
to renew his motion in a subsequent session. 

Few things are more curious in the history of this 
era of Sabbath legislation, than the confidence ex- 
pressed by so many members of Parliament in their 
ability to produce a bill, which, unlike that of Sir 
Andrew, should equally serve God and Mammon — 
which should secure rest for the Sabbath labourer, 
and yet provide recreation for the Sabbath profaner. 
After the failure of Sir Andrew's measure, various 
attempts of this nature were made in both Houses. 

One of these attempts was made the preced- 
ing year by Mr William Peter, member for Bodmin, 
who obtained leave, on the 10th of June 1833, to 
bring in a bill " to consolidate the acts relative to 
the observance of the Lord's day." This bill was 
opposed by Sir Andrew, on the grounds that it was 


not founded on a recognition of the divine law ; that 
it repealed all the old laws, many of which were 
most efficient ; and that it afforded no protection to 
the parties aggrieved by Sunday travelling. On the 
motion for the second reading, 9th July following, 
the bill encountered violent opposition from the 
radical party. In vain did Mr Peter complain, that 
in trying to steer a middle course, and avoid both 
extremes, he had been assailed by both parties; that 
" by the one he was reproached as a fanatic, and by 
the other treated as little better than an infidel : " 
in vain did he protest that " his was not a bill of 
gloom and fasting, neither was it a bill of licence 
and vicious indulgence ; " that while it put a stop to 
indecent violations of the Sabbath, it interfered with 
no man's reasonable pleasures — with no man's reli- 
gion or irreligion. Sir Andrew begged to make a 
similar protest regarding his own bill ; and Mr War- 
burton protested against both. Mr Peter, in despair, 
postponed, and afterwards withdrew his bill. 

The year 1834 was particularly prolific in Sabbath 
bills. In the House of Lords, May 1st, the Ajrch- 
bishop of Canterbury expressed a hope that some bill 
might be brought in, '^ not liable to the objections 
by which that in the other House had been lost;" 
and on the 16th, Lord Wynford introduced his bill, 
intituled " An Act for the Better Observance of the 
Lord's Day, and the more effectual Prevention of 
Drunkenness," — which, without professing to be 
guided by the divine law, merely aimed at repress- 
ing certain forms of Sabbath desecration, while it 


virtually legalized otherB. This compromise^ how- 
ever, did not save it from attack. The bill was hotly 
assailed by Lord Brougham, then Lord Chancellor, 
in a speech replete with his characteristic style of 
sarcasm, of which the following affords an amusing 
specimen : — 

" The clause provides, that if any person keeping a public- 
house, allows another person to get drunk in that house, he 
— the keeper of the public-house — ^incurs a penalty. Why, 
my lords, one man is drunk after two or three glasses, and 
another man is sober after two or three bottles. (A laugh.) 
How can a poor publican, super visum corporis of his cus- 
tomer, tell the drinking capacities of his guests ? Is he to 
say, when two persons enter his house, and call for some- 
thing to drink, * I can't serve you, sir ; I see by your face 
you are only a half-pint man — a two-glass customer ; but as 
to that other gentleman, he is a three-bottle man, and he 
may drink here with perfect safety both to himself and to 
me.' (Loud laughter.) Is it not absolutely necessary that 
the publican should be able to exercise this extraordinary 
degree of discernment ? Much of the probability of a man's 
getting tipsy at a given public-house depends on his having 
been at another public-house. There are a certain class of 
public-house customers who hold a symposium — ^who enjoy 
a little bacchanalian festivity at almost every public-house 
they come to. Is this unfortunate, unhappy, wretched pub- 
lican to say, * Stop, sir, do not presume to cross the threshold ; 
let me have a previous inquisition. I will impamiel a juiy — 
not of matrons, but of twelve honest and lawfiil waiters, 
good men and true — who shall try you at the bar;' — cer- 
tainly a very proper place for such an investigation. (A 
laugh.) ' I will take the chair ; and if you have come here 
fresh, — not fresh with liquor, but fresh in all your sober 


purity, — if you are viiigin soil and lack moisture, then I will 
give you another glass ; but that glass — if only one glass is 
wanted to make you drunk — that one glass makes me 
penal.' (Renewed laughter.) Now, can any man breath- 
ing believe that the House of Lords will sanction such a bill 
as this?"* 

While Lord Brougham was thus protesting against 
this bill for going too far, the Bishop of London pre- 
sented a respectfully signed petition against it, for 
not going far enough, and for containing ^' clauses 
so framed, as, in effect, to sanction disobedience to 
the great Lawgiver, and to deprive large bodies of 
men of the rest to which, as the free gift of God, 
they are undeniably entitled." The bill was car- 
ried by a majority of 3, but was not further pro- 
secuted. Lord Brougham entered his protest against 
it, supported by sixteen reasons. It is needless to 
say, that the style in which his lordship treated 
the prevailing desecrations of the Sabbath, gave 
just offence to the religious public. But still more 
offensive demonstrations awaited the cause in the 
other House. There, two bills were introduced on 
the same day. May 2l8t ; one by Mr Hesketh Fleet- 
wood, member for Preston, and another by Mr 
John Sayer Poulter, member for Shrewsbury. The 
first of these was soon disposed of, having been lost 
by a majority of 32. The second appeared at first 
to meet with more favour, the second reading hav- 
ing been carried by a majority of 40. The biU was 

• Mirror of Parliament, May 16, 1834, vol. ii. p. 1733. Record, 
Mav 19. 

236 MB poulter's bill. 

excellent, so far as it went ; but it was of a very 
partial nature, merely rendering more effectual one 
of the obsolete statutes of Charles 11. Sir Andrew, 
to whose bosom envy in such a cause was a total 
stranger, though more favourably disposed towards 
Mr Fleetwood's bill, voted in favour of Mr Poulter's. 
"Though I think it does not go far enough," he 
said, " still the measure shall have my most cordial 
support; and I heartily wish that the honourable 
member may succeed in carrying it through the 
House." Mr Poulter was extremely liberal in his 
professions. He had no personal objections to " a 
Sunday game at cricket ; " and " if gentlemen were 
disposed to spend the Sabbath irreligiously, his bill 
would not interfere with them." But a singular fate 
awaited his accommodating bill. Violently opposed, 
and sadly curtailed, at every stage in its progress, it 
was at length, July 18th, carried to a third reading ; 
but, on the motion being made '^that the bill do 
pass," Mr Cayley, member for Yorkshire, proposed 
an amendment to the eifect, " Provided always, that 
nothing contained in this act shall extend to pre- 
vent any games of exercise or other recreation in 
the open air, which shall not take place during the 
hours of divine service, or be played for money, or 
on the premises of public-houses." This strange 
clause, which obviously vitiated the whole measure, 
was actually carried by a narrow majority! In vain 
did Mr Poulter protest against the fool's cap and 
bells with which his bill had been adorned ; in vain 
was it urgred that this clause went further than the 

MB poulter's bill. 237 

"Book of Sports" itself, and would sanction even 
a fox-chase after divine service. One member de- 
clared, that "there was nothing that gave him 
greater pleasure, in passing through the country on 
Sunday, than to see the people, on the commons yet 
unenclosed, engaged in playing at cricket and other 
healthftil sports." And O'Connell, whose theory of 
Sabbath observance was, that the morning of the 
day should be devoted to prayers, and the afternoon 
to pastimes, appealed, at the pitch of his voice, to 
his opponents, asking them, "with all this great 
aifection for moping melancholy, what they thought 
to gain by prohibiting people from engaging in these 
sports ? A man," he cried, " will not be likely to sit 
in the open air twirling his thimabs — and that, too, 
perhaps, may be prohibited (a laugh); but he will go 
to the beer-shop and swill beer, and meet poachers, 
and become one of the worst characters in society." 
He then declared, that he would astonish these 
honourable gentlemen by now voting for the bill! 
Thus, as Sir Andrew expressed it, there " was exlii- 
bited the extraordinary spectacle of a bill bearing 
the name of the Lord's day^ opposed by the original 
friends of that cause, and supported by avowed op- 
ponents of all Sabbath legislation!"* Mr Poulter 
complained bitterly of the "harassing opposition," 
but stiU clung to his mutUated measure, even with 
the addition of the sporting clause* The friends of 
decency and of the Sabbath, however, having united 

* iMtw to the Friends of the SabbcUh Cauaet p. 18. 


with some of the opponents of the measure^ on the 
motion " that the bifl do pass," mercifully gave it 
its coup^-grace. 

^Nothing could more clearly show, than the fate of 
these partial measures, that the opposition made to 
Sir Andrew's bill was not to the detsdls, which 
merely fiimished the pretext, but to the whole 
principle of Sabbath legislation, or rather to the 
Sabbath itself. " It gives another proof," said Sir 
Andrew, "that by making concessions, we do not 
abate the hostility of the opponents of all Sabbath 
legislation, nor even secure the support of moderate 
friends." ♦ " Well ! " said a disappointed author of 
one of these bills, stepping across the House to Sir 
Andrew, *'well, I do believe you are in the right, 
after all. An out-and-out measure is as likely to be 
carried by these fellows, as a modified one." 

In perusing the debates on the Sabbath question 
in both Houses, we, on this side of the island, at 
least, cannot fail to be struck with the tone of levity 
which characterised the sentiments uttered by some 
honourable members. Though it is certain that the 
idea of legislating on the Sabbath originated with, 
and was nobly supported by some of them, it is 
equally true that the opposition to it was chiefly 
confined to the English and Irish members. The 
peculiarly offensive hostility of the Irish Bomanists, 
requires no explanation; t but it would appear there 

* Letter to the Friends of the Sahbath Cause, p. 17. 
t " I remember," says Sir George Sinclair, " being mucb amused by a 
conversation which I overheard between Mr O'Dwyer and my worthy 


is something in the English mind^ under the training 
it has received, which renders it singularly indisposed 
to entertain correct notions of Sabbath observance. 
Even the devotion of their southern neighbours par- 
takes of a liveliness deemed by Scotchmen hardly in 
accordance with the solemnity of religion; and a 
vague suspicion may have haunted the minds of some, 
of which the enemies of Sabbath legislation took 
ample advantage, that there was a formed conspiracy 
to inftise the sour leaven, supposed to be inherent in 
Scottish Sabbatism, into their own genial and jaunty 
Sundayism. But the true secret of the jealousy mani- 
fested against all attempts to protect the Sabbath 
from desecration, must be sought in the decay of 
evangelical religion, and the deep taint of scepticism 
which pervaded all classes of society. 

Another of the difficulties experienced in promoting 
soimd views on this subject, was the tendency of cer- 
tain Church of England members to put the church 

friend Afr Andrew Johnston, one of the most consistent and unflinching 
of Sir Andrew's supporters. * There is one omisuon/ said Mr O'Dwyer, 
' in the present hill, Mr Johnston, which I think you should take care to 
see rectified.' * What's that, MrO'Dwyer?' replied Mr Johnston, in his 
characteristic (and in the House very popular) hroad Scotch accent. 
* Oh, it's just that Sir Andrew has forgotten to enact the penalty of 
the thumb-screw against all such unhappy wights as venture to infringe 
his stringent enactments against what he caUs Sabbath desecration.' 
' Really, Mr O'Dwyer, that's an excellent suggestion of yours, which 
never occurred to myself or to any of the supporters of the bill. I am 
sure Sir Andrew will feel very much obliged to you for the hint ; and 
luckily, it is not too late for you to propose your clause in committee, 
and take special care that it is extended to Ireland — and I promise 
you 111 give you my best support, or even second your motion, if you 


holidays on the same level with the Bible institution of 
the Sabbath-day. Sir Andrew used to relate an in- 
stance of shrewdness in staving off a discussion on this 
point, in a case where explanations would have been 
unsuitably long, and probably unintelhgible. Six bar- 
risters, who were friends of the Sabbath, offered their 
services without fee, and appeared by permission of 
their lordships at the bar of the House of Peers, to 
plead, in wig and gown, in favour of some bill for the 
observance of the Sabbath. The Duke of Cumber- 
land, then anxious to be considered leader of the 
church party, examining the draft of the bill, said : 
— ^^Mr Sidebottom, you mention Sunday; should 
not Christmas and Good Friday be included ? What 
do you say?" — "May it please your royal high- 
ness,*' said Mr Sidebottom, showing his presence of 
mind by the use of the language of counsel at the 
bar, " we have no instructions.''^ 




The close of the year 1834 was distinguished^ as 
many of our readers will remember, by the abrupt 
dissolution of the Melbourne ministry, and the ac- 
cession to power of the tories, under the Duke of 
Wellington, who, until the return of the now la- 
mented Sir Eobert Peel from the continent, stood 
at the helm of afl^irs in his single person. This was 
followed by another "tug of war'* at the hustings; 
and Sir Andrew was obliged, for the fourth time, to 
present himself to his constituents. On this occa- 
sion, he was opposed by two other candidates, James 
Blair, Esq. of Penningham, on the high conserva- 
tive, or tory interest, and John Douglas, Esq. of 
Barloch, on the whig-radical interest. Sir Andrew 
still resolutely decUned to identify himself with 
either whig or tory, and took his stand on the 
ground of constitutional law and moderate reform. 
The contest was keenly agitated, and Sir Andrew 



was subjected to a rigid course of cross-examination. 
The following letter, addressed to Mr James Porter, 
chairman of a meeting of county electors, and con- 
taining, as it does, a brief view of his opinions on some 
of the leading questions of the day, some of them 
still in dependence, we beg leave to insert entire : — 

** December 24, 1834. 

" Dear Sir, — I beg to acknowledge your letter of the 
23d instant, enclosing a printed copy of resolutions agreed 
to at a meeting of Wigtounshire county electors, resident at 
Newton-Stewart, of which you were chairman, and wherein, 
although the gentlemen forming the meeting deprecate spe- 
cific pledges under general circumstances, they yet require 
expUcit answers upon FOUR great points at the present time. 

" The First in order you mention is, * The admission of 
Dissenters into the English Universities.* A bill for that 
purpose was brought forward during the last session, by Mr 
Wood, M.P. for Lancashire, the * second reading' of which 
was carried by a large majority m the House of Commons. 
Notwithstanding this success, Mr Wood himself a^ed leave 
to alter his bill ; and when it was brought on for the third 
reading, so completely was it altered by himself, that no 
two lines of it remained as before. I voted against the 
second reading; but on the third reading, seeing that many 
of the objectionable parts were struck out, I did not vote. 
But I was not prepared to support a crude, ill-digested 
measure, upon which the author had not made up his own 
mind. I can never consent to leave the government of schools 
of rehgious instruction open to the chance management of 
any men, who may not hold the essential doctrines of Chris- 
tianity, as was the sweeping tendency of the biU in question. 

" The several Dissenters in Scotland do hold the essential 
doctrines of Christianity; as do likewise what are termed 
the * Orthodox Dissenters' in England But Mr Wood's 


bill would practically have made Roman Catholics, Unitar 
rians, Socinians, and all infidels, eligible to the government 
of Protestant education — an excess of liberality this never 
before heard of — what no parent would allow in the case of 
his own children, and contrary to the usage of all our Dis- 
senters themselves, who have each their own schools now 
for instruction in divinity. 

" I should be most happy to see means devised for remov- 
ing all civU disabilities, without yielding the great principle 
— ^that religion shall be the great basis of education. I 
decline to give any specific pledge; and no bill has ever 
been introduced for the admission into the English Univer- 
sities of Orthodox Dissenters only. 

" Second, As to the * Revision of the Pension List' At 
the commencement of the present reign, his Majesty gave 
up the hereditary revenues of the crown, upon condition of 
receiving fix)m Parliament a sum of money to pay the ex- 
isting pension list. To withhold any part of that money 
now, would be to violate the bargain deliberately made 
between the two contracting parties The discussion of the 
question has done much good, by inducing many wealthy 
persons to resign their pensions ; many others cannot afford 
to do so, and many more have been good servants of the 
country. Hitherto, the King had granted pensions without 
control : I voted for a resolution which declared that his 
Majesty's ministers should be responsible for their recom- 
mendations of deserving persons to the pension list. Upon 
this point also I beg to decline a pledge, although I shall 
be most anxious to watch over the application of the rule 
now laid down. 

" Third, As to * English Corporation Reform.' There 
has not yet been brought forward any distinct proposal. 
All abuses I would severely scrutinize, and give my best 
attention to the remedies which may be suggested. I have 


shown my aincerity by voting for the * Scotch Burgh Reform 
Bill;' yet I must decline to pledge, not knowing what may 
be the nature of the intended bilL 

" Fourth, As to * Irish Church Reform/ Upon no other 
question am I more desirous of discussing a full and efficient 
measure of reform, to make the working clergy commensu- 
rate with the wants of that imhappy country ; but I will not 
consent to destroy, but rather to inquire how a better dis- 
tribution of the church revenues can be arranged, and non- 
residence, pluralities, and sinecures put a stop to, with a 
view to the maintenance and spread of Arital Protestantism, 
for which I would contend as resolutely as did our Scottish 
forefathers of the seventeenth century. I should rejoice if 
the payment of the clergy were made by the proprietors of 
the land, rather than by the tenants; but as the matter has 
not been fully matured, I must still decline to pledge, how- 
ever anxious for the remedy, and willing to assist 

" Allow me to remark, that while in your second resolu- 
tion you determine to adhere to those men, through whom 
the elective franchise was conferred upon you, yet you 
resolve to have another candidate, which must divide the 
liberal interest — risk the defeat of your present member, 
who supported the Reform Bill, exposing himself thereby to 
great personal sacrifices, and you will thus secure the return 
of my present opponent, who is supported by the powerful 
high conservative or tory interest 

** In consequence of my voting for reform in 1831, I was 
opposed by what, in your first resolution, you designate 
* uncompromising anti-reformers.' Upon the same ground, 
I was opposed at the general election of 1832 ; and from the 
same quarter comes the opposition with which I am at this 
moment assailed. Notwithstanding, you propose to strengthen 
the hands of the opposing party by creating division. 

" I need not remind my constituents that I have sup- 


ported various useful reforms, and inquiries into sundry long 
existing abuses; that, amongst other measures, from the 
time of entering the House of Commons, I constantly voted 
with Mr Buxton for the abolition of colonial slavery; with 
the bill for defending the poor over-worked children in fac- 
tories, I took an active part, having been in correspondence 
with their chief adviser (the Rev. Mr Bull, of Bierley, near 
Bradford), and, upon my urgency, the question was brought 
on at the most favourable time, and the second reading was 
carried in opposition to the late government, who there- 
upon were induced to take up the measure as a govern- 
ment question. That my efforts for the observance of the 
Sabbath were calculated to protect all classes of his Majesty's 
subjects, but especially the poor, in the conscientious obser- 
vance of the day of rest, is suflSciently proved by the peti- 
tions thereupon having been more numerous than upon any 
other subject, with the single exception of those for the 
abolition of negro slavery, and the poorer classes them- 
selves being the chief petitioners. 

" Mr Maxwell s committee for considering the means of 
appointing local boards of trade and commerce, I sup- 
ported; and it was carried, although opposed by ministers. 
So likewise, I voted most cordially for the resolution, de- 
claring that sufficient regard had not been paid to the diffi- 
culties of the agricultural classea And upon this last topic, 
it is unnecessary that I should express my deep interest, 
and my resolution to uphold the farming interest; seeing 
that I am myself altogether dependent upon the produce of 
the soil At the same time, I have ever, and will ever, 
faithfully attend to each measure well calculated to promote 
the benefit of all my fellow-subjects. 

" Thus, it will be seen that I supported such measures of 
the late government as seemed beneficial, and that I also 
supported other reforms to which they were opposed. To 


preserve my independeDoe, I careAilly abstained from asking 
ministerial favours. I am the friend of judicious economy, 
and the enemy of useless sinecurea Sincerely attached to 
the principles of the church establishment, and no less 
resolved to defend all in the most extensive religious liberty 
of conscience, I would remove all abuses, redress all griev- 
ances, reform all things;* but I would never destroy the 
admirable institutions of our highly favoured country. 

" Let me urge the consideration, that, up to this hour I 
have been opposed, and now by a gentleman who is a com- 
parative stranger to you, — powerfully opposed, as formerly, 
for no other reason that can be discovered, but because I 
habitually voted for reform. 

" Insteaxi of dividing strength, I would ardently call upon 
the constituency of Wigtounshire to assert their independence, 
and, by a prompt and universal declaration of their senti- 
ments, to secure the return of their old and tried representa- 
tive, who, in three successive Parliaments, has proved himself 
to be the determined supporter of all constitutional reforms, 

"I would beg the gentlemen electors who constituted 
your meeting, to accept my best thanks for their courtesy 
in addressing themselves in the first instance to me; and 
allow me to hope, that they will give the same pubUcity to 
this, my reply, which they have determined to give to their 
ovm resolutions. — I have the honour to be, dear sir, your 
faithful servant, « Andbew Agnew." 

In prosecuting his canvass^ Sir Andrew^ who had 
now to encounter not only the opposition of radical 

* A tory of the old school (one of the *^ uncomprommtig anti- 
reformers" alluded to), thus wrote to Sir Andrew, after reading the 
above most reasonable letter : — 

** Dear Sir Andrew,~1 will not vote for jou. I bare read your letter, in 
which you tell us, * I would remore all abuses, redress all grierances, r^orm all 
things.' / am not so ambitious.— Yours,^ &c. 


reformers^ but the prejudice excited in the miiids of 
many by mistaken views of his eflforts in behalf of the 
Sabbath^ was often successful in disarming hostility 
by some happy anecdote, or mollifying prejudice by 
his mild Christian deportment. " What do you- say 
to annual Parliaments ? " asked a liberal elector. ** I 
can only say this," replied Sir Andrew, " in^ur years 
this is the fourth time I have stood as a candidate for 
the honour of representing you." A tenant voter, 
whose landlord was strongly opposed to Sir Andrew 
on the Sabbath question, came armed to the teeth to 
fight his landlord's battle. He charged Sir Andrew 
with injuring the agricultural interests by his tem- 
perance principles, and oppressing the poor while he 
favoured the rich by his Sabbath bill. Sir Andrew 
took great pains to show him how completely he 
misunderstood his bill, and wound up his explanation 
with an anecdote. '^ A gentleman in London," said 
he, '^ who was very zealous in the Sabbath cause, and 
attended all our meetings, one day invited me to his 
house. I went, and was surprised to find a beautiful 
mansion, standing a little retired from the street, with 
a flower-garden in front — a luxury not very common 
in London. On my remarking that he was surely 
more favoured than his neighbours, * The Sabbath, 
sir,' he replied, ^ has done it all ; for while I traded 
on Sabbath, I could make nothing. All my winnings 
were put into a bag with holes, but ever since I re- 
spected the Sabbath I have prospered.' " The issue 
of this interview was, that the man declared he woiJd 
not vote against Sir Andrew. Uis zeal in this holy 


cause^ however^ secured him^ in other cases^ something 
better than negative support ; and instances were not 
wanting in which electors, even of the anti-govern- 
ment school of Presbyterians, rising above the fear 
of two obstacles, once the most formidable to Scotch- 
men, declared their determination to vote for the 
champion of the Sabbath, " in spite both of the laird 
and the kirk-session." The organs of the Church of 
Scotland, then of a decidedly conservative spirit, 
expressed the same sentiments. " Sir A. Agnew," 
said one of these, '^is too much the Christian to 
give a factious and perverse opposition to any ad- 
ministration which his Majesty may form, or refuse 
supporting its measures, so far as these measures are 
deserving of support ; but if Sir Andrew, with poli- 
tical principles so moderate and reasonable, and a 
character so pure and estimable, is cast out of the 
representation, what impression can the country have 
of the tory party in that county, but that the good 
of their country is with them secondary to the tri- 
umph of party ? But we hope better things — ^things 
tending to peace, and to the union of moderate poli- 
ticians of all classes in behalf of just, and moderate, 
and Christian politicians, like Sir A. Agnew." * 

The contest issued, January 1836, in the election 
of Sir Andrew, by a considerable majority over his 

* Scottish Guardian, Glasgow, December 1834. 
f The numbers stood thus : — 

Sir A. Agnew 340 

Mr Bliur, 228 

Mr Douglas, 58 


Though in his general politics, Sir Andrew may 
be considered as having leant towards conservatism, 
few were less tainted with party spirit. This was 
shown, on more than one occasion, in his resolutely 
declining to join in mere party or factious votes. 
During the contest for the Speakership in the be- 
ginning of 1835, between the old speaker. Sir Charles 
Manners Sutton, and Mr, afterwards Lord, Aber- 
cromby, he was urgently soUcited to give his vote for 
the latter gentleman. Sir Charles had not entitled 
himself to any special favour from Sir Andrew, 
having always shown a decided partiality towards his 
opponents in the House ; but Sir Andrew used to 
say that he returned him good for evil, for, at the 
expense of displeasing many of his friends, he resolved 
to vote, and actually did vote, for him. His reasons 
are given in a reply to Sir John H. Dalrymple, now 
Earl of Stair. "I much regret that I cannot meet your 
wishes by saying that I shall vote for Mr Abercomby, 
as Speaker of the House of Commons. I am stiU alto- 
gether unpledged. But I must confess that I have not 
yet seen nnj public ground stated for opposing Sir C. 
M. Sutton, whom before I supported most cordially, 
and whose abilities have stood the test of a reformed 
House ; and therefore, unless something unknown to 
me is brought to light, my present intention is to 
support him again." In a more lengthened reply to 
Dr Hannay of Glasgow, who had been employed to 
sound him on this point, he makes the same declara- 
tion, " looking upon the question at the present time 
as one of party tactics, and not of constitutional 


principle ; ** and he enters into a vindication of the 
independent position which^ in the existing state of 
politics, he was determined to maintain.* 

While on this topic, we beg to subjoin the testimony 
of one who can hardly be suspected of partiality, 
and whose business habits qualify him for forming 
an enlightened estimate of political character : — 

" I was gratified/' says Mr Hope Johnstone, " when I 
heard that a memoir of Sir Andrew was to be published ; 
for I am sure that the example of one^ who so consistently 
and conscientiously performed his duty, must have a beneficial 
effect on all whose minds are capable of appreciating the dig- 
nity of sterling worth. I believe there are few persons who had 
better opportunities than myself of observing the course of 
Sir Andrew in Parliament, or of estimating the motives by 
which he was called to decide; for I had the happiness of 
enjoying a large share of his confidence during that time. 
He was, in no sense, a party man ; and though his feelings 
led him to lean to conservative opinions, he was ever ready 
to join in applying a safe remedy, where acknowledged evils 
and inconveniences were found to exist But, in doing so, 
he always acted on his own deliberate and conscientious con- 
viction; and I am persuaded that he never took any step in 
public afiGeurs, excepting under a sincere belief that he was 
advancing the interests of his country. His simple motive 
was a desire to do his duty, and I know not that higher 
praise can be accorded to any man" 

In the midst of all his other cares, and the ever 
shifting scenes of politics. Sir Andrew never for a 
moment lost sight of his main object. In February 

* This letter, which appeared in the Scottish Guardian^ and which 
met the approval of Dr Chahners, contains Sir Andrew's matured ideas 
on party politicsi and will be given in the Appendix. 


1835^ he published ''A Letter addressed to the 
Friends of the Sabbath Cause/' first in the news- 
papers^ and afterwards in the form of a pamphlet. 
In this letter he gave a condensed history of his exer- 
tions in Sabbath legislation^ from the commencement 
up to that time ; explained the object of his bills^ as 
distinguished from others; and urged to fresh efforts 
for its attainment. " I will not attempt," he says in 
the conclusion of the letter, ** to enumerate the many 
misrepresentations and misapprehensions which have 
gone abroad respecting the bills introduced by me. 
They may be safely left to refute themselves. But I 
would again and again repeat the assurance, that the 
friends of this cause never desired to enforce any 
peculiar religious observances by force of law, nor (as 
some affected to suppose) to attempt to make men 
reUgious by act of Parliament ; but they do seek for 
a national and legislative recognition of the Christian 
Sabbath, and to afford to every man the opportunity 
of worshipping God according to his conscience. My 
own opinions not having been changed by the dis- 
cussions which have taken place; but, on the con- 
trary, strengthened by a more mature consideration 
of the subject, I gave notice, at the close of last 
session, of my intention again to introduce a bill of 
general protection to all, from the richest to the 
poorest. But if this end is to be gained, great exer- 
tion will be required on the part of those who desire 
its accomplishment. It is obvious that in such a 
cause no man can prevail alone, and that all indi- 
vidual exertions must fail imless the moral and reli- 


gious men throughout the country will lend their 
assistance. But^ as it has pleased Almighty Grod to 
raise up many unexpected supporters in three suc- 
cessive years^ so I have the fullest confidence that he 
will still prosper His own cause^ whether the conduct- 
ing thereof be continued in my hands, or appointed 
to others better quaUfied for the work," * 

Another opportunity was afforded him, in the re- 
introduction of Mr Poulter's Bill for Sabbath Ob- 
servance, which, it may be observed by the way, met 
with even worse treatment than that of Sir Andrew. 
The '* scoffs and taunts," in which some members 
chose to indulge, were not indeed so personal as in 
his case; they were levelled more at the sacred cause 
than at the advocate, and became at last so offensive 
to many, that a proposition was made to send the 
bill to a committee up stairs, which Sir Andrew re- 
sisted in this case as he had formerly done in his 
own. " All I can say is," he observed, " that if the 
representatives of the people think fit so to treat the 
subject, it is better they should do so here, in the 
open House, and in the face of their constituents." 
On this occasion. Sir Robert Peel declared himself 
averse to all legislation on the Sabbath. " He always 
listened," he said, " with great concern to discussions 
upon that subject. There was no man in the House 
who attached greater importance than he did to the 
proper keeping of the Sabbath-day. He thought 
no one had a right to shock the public feeling by. 

* This letter, from which we have had frequent occasion to borrow, 
will be given entire in the Appendix. 


desecrating it ; but at the same time he entertained 
very serious doubts whether they could promote that 
object by legislation^ and whether it would not be 
better to trust to the influence of manners and the 
increase of morality for the purpose of checking, by 
public opinion, the attempt at profanation of the 
Sabbath, than to have recourse to new laws, which, 
he feared, in themselves would be difficult of execu- 
tion; and which, as they might be perverted to 
purposes of individual vexation, would tend to bring 
the law itself into disrespect. He should say from 
his own short experience, that the Sabbath was never 
better observed than at present ; and that this was 
owing, not to legislation, but to the influence of 
manners and of public opinion." Sir Andrew " ex- 
pressed his regret at being obliged to diflfer from 
the opinions of the right honourable baronet, which 
he characterised as a dangerous concession to the 
voluntary principle. It might appear a very simple 
thing to consolidate the laws ; but when he looked 
into the statute-book, he would find many important 
enactments, which he would hesitate to embody in 
a general repealing clause ; for no one could be better 
aware than the right honourable baronet himself, that 
it would be impossible, in such a House of Commons 
as the present, to obtain the re-enacting of such 
stringent and useful laws, to which we are indebted, 
if we had any superiority, as we no doubt have a 
superiority, in the observance of the Lord's day." At 
a subsequent stage of this bill, which was rejected 
on the 3d of June, Sir Andrew is again found at his 


post^ and delivers the following clear and emphatic 
utterance on the subject : — 

" I can assure the House that nothing was ever further 
from my intention, when I introduced my bill, than to 
i«.p«, L, p»ti»l„ f<™ of „ligi»™ oL^ce up<», 
any person. My wish simply was — ^to give eveiy man an 
opportunity of duly observing that sacred day, which op- 
portunity is at present denied to many people in this 
country. This is a point which I own it does appear very 
difficult to get the House to understand. The labouring 
classes say, we have not an opportunity of observing that 
day, and we call upon you to give us it But gentlemen 
who profess to be the peculiar friends of the people say, 
we will not listen to your opinions." 

" Several honourable members. — ' No ! no ! ' 
" I hear some gentlemen exclaim * No ! ' but I have 
before noted expressions from them which went to the full 
effect I have just described. I will tell the honourable 
member for Shaftesbury (Mr Poulter) why there are so few 
petitions in favour of his bilL It is because its operation 
is not sufficiently extensive : I can assure him of this from 
letters I have received from various quarters. Something 
has been said about gentlemen coming from the northern 
end of the kingdom : I will merely remark, that it is at this 
end of the kingdom that this grave subject has been forced 
upon me. I think the honourable and learned member for 
Shaftesbury has not been well used by the House. My 
bill, I was told, was too large, and now he is assured that 
his is too small This is extremely agreeable to me ; it is 
like music to my ears. If I succumb under the difficulty, 
yet still all I ask the legislature to do is to take away the 
compulsion which actually exists to work on the Sabbath- 
day, and to give even the poorest man an opportunity of 
obeying the fourth commandment according to the dictates 


of his own conscience. I am glad to say I think that by 
the discussions in this House, the public mind has been 
brought to bear upon the subject, and that it is now dis- 
posed to think more properly with regard to legislation upon 
it than was formerly the case/* * 

During this session, however. Sir Andrew did not 
consider it expedient to introduce any Sabbath mea- 
sure of his own into Parliament. In a circular, 
issued February 1836, he explains bis reasons for 
this course. He states that '^ facts afforded abun- 
dant evidence that the previous bills relating to the 
observance of the Lord's day were, not only in their 
details but also in their ^n'ncip/e^, distasteful to many 
members of the House of Commons. But many 
friends in the country being known to entertain the 
opinion, that these bills had been lost from dislike 
merely to the extensive character of their details, it 
was deemed prudent to abstain from urging a general 
Lord's-day Bill in 1836, that the more moderate 
measures which other members intended to intro- 
duce might have every advantage for fair discussion ; 
seeing, that if these were carried through Parliament, 
a portion of good might be obtained ; or, if they 
were rejected, that the experience of the sessions 
1833 and 1834 might be thus confirmed. The latter 
alternative was realized by the rejection of several 
moderate measures, which were all treated with the 
least possible degree of respect. The objection 
formerly had been to the great extent of the require- 
ments. The objection of many in 1836 was made 

• Mirror of Parliament^ 3d June 1835. 



to the proposed measures as too limited." He con- 
cludes^ therefore, by soliciting support for his motion, 
which stood for the 21st of April 1836. 

Sir Andrew has been called " a man of one idea." 
If by this expression it is meant that the Sabbath 
was with him a species of monomania — a mere fancy 
or hobby — ^which had taken forcible possession of his 
mind to the exclusion of every thing else, there was 
never a greater mistake. He was, no doubt, led in 
providence to take up the Sabbath question, and he 
came to view it as his peculiar vocation ; but this was 
the result of free choice, and done on principle. He 
had seen many instances, he would say, in which 
members of Parliament, by meddling with every 
thing that came in their way, lost all influence and 
usefulness ; and he felt convinced, that if he was to 
succeed in doing any thing for the Sabbath, he must 
concentrate all his energies on this one point. 

But, while prosecuting this as his leading ob- 
ject, let it not be supposed that Sir Andrew's 
mind was so engrossed by it as to pay no attention 
to other matters of general importance. On the 
contrary, there was hardly a question of the day 
involving the welfare of his countrymen in which he 
did not take a more or less prominent share. The 
subject of intemperance was strongly brought before 
him during the investigations of his committee, and 
he soon saw the connection between this vice and 
Sabbath-breaking. At an early period he joined the 
Temperance Society, and though he never took the 
pledge of total abstinence, he ultimately became, in 


practice, a convert to that system. Deeply convinced 
of the evils of intemperance. Sir Andrew employed 
all his influence, together with his personal example, 
to effect a reform in the drinking usages of society. 
In the course of his canvassing among the electors, 
he set his face against the perpetual dram-drinking 
which accompanied every transaction of life among 
the lower orders of society. On one occasion, when 
attending a meeting of magistrates at Stranraer, 
where the licensing of public-houses was under con- 
sideration, he bore his usual testimony against them ; 
and anxious if possible to reduce their number, he 
remarked, that '^ all his experience and information 
went to show that the sale of ardent spirits, and the 
constant and unnecessary use of them, had been 
attended with the most pernicious and demoralizing 
effects on society, prostrating both mind and body, 
and that he considered what they were now doing 
as nothing better than licensing the sale of poison.^^ 
One of the gentlemen observed, rather sneeringly, 
^'Very slow poison, you will admit. Sir Andrew." 
" I can only say," he replied, *' that if I were to look 
back on the last twenty years I have Uved amongst 
you, and tell you all I have witnessed, if I could re- 
call to you the friends and neighbours and acquaint- 
ances, once in vigorous health, but who have been 
hastened to their graves by the use and abuse of 
these deceitful spirits, you would no longer call it 
even a slow poison." 

The following communication from an old and 
ardent advocate of this cause, John Dunlop, Esq., 



London^ will show how truly the subject of our 
memoirs was " prepared unto every good work." 

" The first time I ever saw Sir Andrew Agnew was as far 
back as 1809 or 1810, when I studied at the University of 
Edinburgh. I met him and Sir Qeorge Sinclair (both then 
young men) at the house of a common friend The part I 
adopted afterwards, as to the introduction of a temperance 
movement into Great Britain in 1828-9, led me into direct 
correspondence with a great many philanthropists, and among 
others, Sir Andrew. My communications with him, however, 
were not confined to this topic, but embraced a variety of 
subjects, in which he took quite a pleasing and encouraging 
interest Some of these turned out failures, but they may 
show in a measure how his mind was occupied apart from 
his own great pursuit 

" For instance, the passuig of the Reform Bill opened up 
an expectation to many that senators might after that period 
be enrolled into the great councils of the nation, whose con- 
ceptions on the duties of legislation might embrace a wider 
range than had been usual, especially in the departments of 
religion and philanthropy. Having been struck with the 
general pious character of the bulk of the members of the 
Parliament in the days of the old Commonwealth, I was 
tempted to believe that the religious portion of the British 
public might, at this favourable epoch, be induced to arrange 
themselves so as to effect the introduction into the House of 
Commons of able men of evangeUcal sentimenta And with 
this design I held conversations with Sir Andrew and other 
members of ParUament professing godliness, with a view of 
bringing them to the immediate acquaintance of influential 
business men throughout the coimtry ; so that these might 
judge for themselves whether the general idea in vogue at 
the time — that a pious man was necessarily a weak man — 
was, or was not, a mere fiction. Some rather interesting 


trausactioDS took place in this direction for some time; but 
we afterwards found that the adverse views taken by Estab- 
lished Church members and Dissenters or Voluntaries ren- 
dered nugatory at that time any general arrangements on 
this subject 

" The religious instruction of the young was also a topic 
to which Sir Andrew was much alive. The subjects of 
savings' banks, mechanics' institutes and libraries, mental 
science for the labouring classes, benefit societies, &c., also 
formed the topics of our discussiona 

''In 1834, having been called up firom Scotland to give 
evidence on national intemperance before a committee of 
the House of Commons, I had frequent conversations with 
Sir Andrew, as he was a member of that committee.* At 
this period, he was subjected to every species of vitupera- 
tion, invective, and ridicule; and the mention of his name 
was sufficient, in any part of the kingdom, to make appa- 
rent all the latent hatred of the things of Qod that occupy 
the mental fastnesses of the great bulk of the conmiunity. 
In these circumstances, I saw him placed at the long table 
of a Commons' House committee, the room filled with 
members and witnesses, the majority of them opposed to 
the strict keeping of the Lord's day; but one thing struck 
me as very apparent — ^the moment Sir Andrew Agnew 
opened his lips to ask a question, or make an observation, 
there was immediately a dead silence; aJl eyes were turned 
to him, and all were disposed to listen respectfully to what 
might fall from him. It was evident there was a strong 
persuasion on men's minds of the honesty of his purposes, 
and the benevolence of his designs, and a secret conviction 
that, in his Sabbatical views, he might be right after alL 

" In the winter of 1835, Sir Andrew invited me to spend 

* Mr James Silk Buckingham's Select Committee on Drunkenness, 
facetiously called "The Drunken Committee." Sir Andrew used to 
say, ** it had been quite a Sabbath Committee." 


a few days at Lochnaw Castle, in order to afford me an 
opportunity of collecting the specific drinking usages in the 
Rhinns of Galloway. There was held, while I was there, a 
large temperance festival of Sir Andrew's tenants, with their 
wives and families, in a large hall of the castle. The soiree 
was well received; no accidents, or indecorum, took place 
on the party retmning to their homes, and no headaches 
next day. This was, if I mistake not, the first occasion in 
Scotland where a landed proprietor had met his tenantry 
in this safe and salutary manner. 

" Th, «^ .peci^oi.t »,.^ i« which I ™ e«- 
gaged with Sir Andrew, was that of endeavouring to alter 
the plan of employers paying their workmen's wages in 
public-houses; and the practice of grouping them into bands 
of ten or fifteen, and giving them a large bank-note to be 
changed and divided among them, which inevitably led to 
the public-house. I do not here detail the evils, cruelty, 
and marvellous folly of this practice. I am happy to say, 
that in many of the largest manufacturing establishments 
it is now abandoned ; nevertheless, among smaller concerns, 
seven-tenths of wages are probably paid in the above dan- 
gerous and questionable manner. The special interest which 
the Lord's-day societies liave in this question is, that wages 
are very generally paid late on Saturday evening, creating 
much drunkenness and debauch that night and next day. 
I succeeded in persuading Sir Andrew that this matter 
ought to be a joint concern of the Sabbath and Temperance 
Committees, as probably more than a half of the Sabbath- 
breaking of the working millions arises from this imhappy 
usage and its concomitants." 

This communication suggests a striking fact, at- 
tested by the whole of Sir Andrew's career, that the 
Parliamentary questions in which he seems to have 
taken the warmest and most cordial interest, were 


those which Mr Dunlop has so aptly designated as 
"the departments of reUgion and philanthropy." On 
other questions of a mere political kind^ he was com- 
paratively neutral; but in regard to every thing that 
appeared to implicate the honour of God, or conduce 
to the mental, moral, or physical improvement of 
his fellow-men, he displayed the spirit of genuine 
partisanship. In him we see reversed the censure 
pronounced by the poet on those 

" Who to party give up what was meant for mankind/' 

There is reason to believe that his political senti- 
ments on all topics gradually became subordinated 
to the sacred theme which formed the main object 
of his existence, and which, like the fire, turned all 
things that came within its reach into fuel for its 
nourishment, and transformed them into its own 
likeness. It was said of him, in a contemporary 
publication, that he " is strenuously opposed to any 
business on, or interference with, the Sabbath-day; 
for the proper observance of which he has made two 
or three unsuccessful attempts, which he would never 
have tried in an unreformed Parliament.^' * On Sir 
Andrew's attention being called to this last clause, 
he said, he supposed they had found such a sentence 
in some speech of his, though he did not remember 
having used these very words. We find, however, 
that he did use words to the above eflfect, in a speech 
in Parliament, April 21, 1836: "I supported the 
Reform Bill," he said, " from the conviction that it 

♦ The Parliamentaty Guide, by R. B. Mosse, Esq., Parliamentary 
Agent (corrected to 7th February 1837). 


would, by enfranchising all the middle classes, bring 
to bear on the House of Commons a great accession 
of moral power. Such a question as that of provid- 
ing for a due observance of the Sabbath^ could not 
have stood for a moment in an unreformcd House 
of Commons^ but would have been put down by 
some hundred gentlemen^ who, having no constitu- 
ents, however individually respectable, yet, being 
masters of their own time, could not have entered 
into the feeUngs of the classes who are constrained 
to work for others on the Lord's day." The six 
hundred thousand petitioners (the number to which 
they had now extended) praying for legislative pro- 
tection on Sabbath, furnished Sir Andrew with his 
most efficient plea in the House — a plea which his 
opponents were as unwiUing to hear as they were 
unable to answer. * 

To another characteristic of Sir Andrew's politics, 
we must make a passing allusion, as it furnished 
some of his constituents with their main charges 

* On one occasion, Mr O'Gonnell, driven to bay by this argument, 
took up an unwonted position— that of the stern lover of virtue, inca- 
pable of being swayed in the least by ihe *' civium ardor prava juben- 
tium," and resolved either to thwart the unreasonable w^ishes of the 
people, or to perish in the attempt I *' The honourable member seems 
to think it extraordinary that those members of this House who are 
attached to popular rights do not attend to the petitions which have 
been presented on this subject from 600,000 persons. I am attached 
to the rights of the people ; but I would not yield to their suggestions 
when they are in error. I, and those who act with me, are destruc- 
tives of all that is wrong, and conservatives of all that is right, and 
therefore we are anxious that the mistaken petitions of the people 
should not lead to mistaken legislation!" — {Mirror of Parliameni, 
May 20, 1836, vol. i. p. 984.) 


against him when he lost his seat in Parliament. 
We refer to his decided Protestantism. Attached^ 
from education and from principle, to our Protestant 
constitution, and convinced, from all he had read of 
history, that the prosperity of the country was in- 
separably bound up with the maintenance of that 
constitution in its purest form, he opposed all those 
measures which were calculated, in his judgment, to 
weaken or subvert it. His adverse votes, therefore, 
on questions affecting the stability of our Protestant 
establishments, or tending to countenance Popery, 
proposed by the ministers of the day, which were apt 
to be set down to the influence of party spirit, and 
which were represented aa bo many backsUdings 
from his former professions of zeal for reform, were 
really in exact harmony with the whole of his 
political creed. He had, from the first, declared 
himself independent of all party, and he never re- 
garded his vote for reform as pledging him to an 
indefinite series of changes radically affecting the 
constitution. As a reHgious reformer, he now fore- 
saw that the basis of all Christian legislation, which 
had been indirectly violated by the admission of 
Roman Catholics to places of power and trust, would 
be entirely swept away, were all direct recognition 
to be withdrawn from evangelical Protestantism, 
and were Parliament to be held in bondage to a 
system of liberalism, according to which, all reli- 
gions being viewed as alike and on a level, no appeal 
could be made to any definite standard of truth and 
duty. To these sentiments he gave expression some 


time after this, in a letter he wrote, when invited to 
become a member of the National Club, instituted 
to oppose the endowment of Popery : — 

" I presume that the object in view is the same which, 
from my poor position, I have always contemplated and 
humbly adhered to, — ^namely (what the blessing of God has 
so marvellously rested upon), the British Constitution^ with 
its Scriptural basis and superstructure of evangehcal protest 
agaiost the Papal apostasy; — and ever viewing the measures 
of the passing day with reference thereto, I have never foimd 
it possible to commit myself with any party of poUticians, 
except during the few days of the existence of what was 
called * Lord Stanley's section,' in 1835. 

" Much as I value the aristocratical element in our mixed 
monarchy (and I protested in the House of Commons in 1833 
against the proposed creation of peers), yet, being convinced 
that, providentially, the religious stamina of this favoured 
Christian coimtry are to be foimd in the middle classes, — 
without disparagement to the many excellences in the several 
grades of the two extremes of our countrymen, and with 
the desire of enfranchising all the men indicated by Agar's 
prayer (* Give me neither poverty nor riches'), — I supported 
the principle of the Reform Bill — (those who should have 
known wherein true conservatism consists would give me 
no better measure to support.) And now I rejoice that the 
broad shoulders of the generality of the middle classes are 
thus prepared to withstand the unanticipated wickedness in 
high places against which we are all called to contend. 

" Excuse this long preface to a request that you would 
have the goodness to let me know more particularly what 
are the intentions of the founders of the club, and to what 
it is desired to commit its members." 

We may take the opportunity of introducing here. 


in connection with the large-minded philanthropy of 
Sir Andrew, the reminiscences of the Rev. Dr Duff 
of Calcutta, conveyed in a letter to Lady Agnew. 
The testimony of this eminent missionary, given with 
all the native fervour of his character, is rendered 
doubly valuable from the well-known expansive- 
ness of heart and intellect which distinguishes the 
writer : — 

" Sir Andrew Agnew was one of the most remarkable in- 
stances I ever met with of sensitive conscientiousness in 
following out his own views gf duty, coupled with a for- 
bearing consideration for the honest scruples of others — of a 
stem, unbending resoluteness of purpose, in acting out his 
own convictions of what was right, combined with a beauteous 
manifestation of the kindly, the graceftil, and the conciliat- 
ing, iQ his own personal demeanour. 

" Never can I forget the delightful visit to Lochnaw Castle, 
in the autumn of 1836. As the great champion of Sabbath 
observance, Sir Andrew was natmully led to devote his ac- 
tive energies in public mainly to the maintenance of that 
sacred cause. Hence, no doubt, the impression of many, 
that he was narrow, exclusive, one-«ided in his views and 
purposes. But never was impression more erroneous. There 
was not an object of Christian benevolence to which he was 
not keenly aUve, nor one which he was not prepared to as- 
sist, as occasion offered, with his personal advocacy and pecu- 
niary resource. 

" During my visit to Lochnaw, there were, besides the 
Sabbath question, three subjects which particularly engrossed 
our conversation: — Isty Missions to the heathen. On this 
subject Sir Andrew's knowledge was extensive, and his gene- 
ral views large and enlightened. The interest he took in it 
was so lively, that at times his mind glowed with warmth, 


while his expressions kindled into eloquence. At such mo- 
ments, it seemed as if he was ready, if called upon in pro- 
vidence, to throw himself into the veiy thick of the mission- 
ary enteiprise. 

" 2(2, The cause of Church and School Extension at home 
was one on whose importance he again and again expatiated. 
His soul seemed to yearn over the ignorant and degraded 
masses in this land, while it went out in earnest longing for 
their temporal improvement and practical regeneration. 

^' 3dy The struggle for Spiritual Independence into which 
the Church of Scotland had then entered with the dvil 
power, furnished a fertile and favourite theme of remark. 
He appeared, at that early period, to have seized, as it were, 
its veiy essence. He at once identified it with the contend- 
ings of our martyred forefathers; and never can I forget the 
vigour and the warmth with which he referred to the impe- 
rishable legacy of principle and example which they had 
bequeathed to ua And when he told me, that to one of the 
original covenants, in the possession (if I remember right) 
of Dr Symington of Stranraer, there was attached the 
autograph signature of one of his own ancestors, he did it 
in such a way as to make me feel that he reckoned it a 
greater honour to be descended fix>m such a sire, than if, 
in his hereditary lineage, there had been registered the 
mightiest names in civic and military warfara 

" To the world he was known only, or chiefly, as the cham- 
pion of a cause which was thoroughly distasteful to its feelings 
and predilections; hence the treatment which he received 
at the hands of the mere men of the world, who would have 
him enrolled in their category of sour and sullen misan- 
thropista But never was there a more glaring misapprehen- 
sion of character heard of under the sun. If his reviling foes 
had seen him, and known him, in his private relationship as 
a man, and not merely in his capacity as the uncompromising 


public advocate of a disrelished cause, how astonished would 
they have been to find the heart of their misanthropist throb- 
bmg with the pidsation of a philanthropy vastiy more enlarged 
and enlightened than their own! How astonished beyond 
measure to find him, in the bosom of his own family, arrayed 
with such a clustering assemblage of the domestic graces and 
charities, that it was difficult to say whether as husband, 
father, or friend, he was the centre of greatest attraction and 

" Pardon, my dear Lady Agnew, pardon me for giving 
vent to this brief and inadequate expression of my feelings 
towards one whom I honoured and loved when living, and 
whose memory I still fondly cherish and revere, when gone 
to the enjoyment of that everlasting ^ Sahbatism* which re- 
maineth for the people of God." 

Let us here notice^ once for all, the warm and 
active interest which Sir Andrew took in many of the 
religious and philanthropic societies. He waa a mem- 
ber of the " Society for Promoting Christian Know- 
ledge," and the " Pastoral Aid Society," both of which 
are connected with the Church of England. In May 
1837^ we find him presiding at the annual meetings 
of the Sailors' Home and Episcopal Floating Church 
Societies, and of the London City Mission. But he 
was ever ready to lend his influence and aid to other 
societies connected with dissenters. He presided more 
than once over the annual meetings of the Wesleyan 
Missionary Society — a body of Christians who, while 
they sympathised with him in his views on Sabbath 
legislation, cordially reciprocrated towards him those 
sentiments of high respect which ho ever entertained 
towards them. And in Scotland, particularly in his 


own immediate neighbourhood, he was ever ready, as 
we shall see, to employ his influence, his industry, 
and his substance, in proposing, promoting, or aiding 
every religious or philanthropic undertaking. 

Of Sir Andrew's liberality towards all objects 
of Christian benevolence, we are restrained from 
speaking as it deserves, by reflecting on his innate 
modesty, which would have shrunk from the publi- 
cation of such a record ; for, much as he gave, even 
beyond what prudence might have dictated, his great 
regret was, that he had it not in his power to give 
more. Justice, however, requires us to state that 
there was hardly a religious or philanthropic society 
which did not share in his munificent support. To- 
wards the Sabbath cause, it would not be easy to 
compute how much he gave away, in every varied 
form, besides actual donations; for, by "joumey- 
ings oft," by correspondence, by printing papers and 
circulars, &c., his time, his substance, his strength, 
his every faculty, were dedicated to the sacred cause. 




On the 2 1st of April 1836, our indefatigable cham* 
pion was again in the field, moving in the House of 
Commons for leave to introduce another bill, essen- 
tially the same as the former, for promoting the due 
observance of the Lord's day. He introduced his 
motion by recapitulating what had been done by him- 
self and others for this object in former sessions, and 
referring to the numerous petitions for Sabbath relief, 
which lay on the table of the House, from all sorts of 
trades, including shoemakers, tailors, hatters, sales- 
men, bakers, corn dealers, green grocers, coal dealers, 
grocers, cheesemongers, butchers, hairdressers, poul- 
terers, and fishmongers. A solitary derisive shout of 
"Hear" followed each item in this enumeration, 
which led Sir Andrew to say " he could understand 
that cheer. The honourable member, being master 
of his own time, could not enter into the feelings of 
men whom the habits of trade compelled to work on 
the Lord's day." The motion was ably supported 


by Sir Oswald Mosley, who, in the midst of many 
interruptions, boldly pleaded the cause of the Sab- 
bath. The tone of his opponents, though still in- 
veterate in its hostility, was somewhat moderated and 
shorn of its exuberant profaneness. Mr Gisborne 
entered into a curious calculation of the expense to 
which the country had been put by these Sabbath 
bills. " The result of the whole is," said he, ^' that 
there have been nine bills introduced for the purpose 
of legislating respecting the Sabbath, and twelve dis- 
cussions have been had upon them. !N'ot less than 
84,000 sheets of paper have been printed in bills on 
the subject, at the public expense ; and, it turns out, 
all to no purpose." Mr O'Connell excused himself 
for having smiled during the discussion, by quoting 
some doggrel lines which he said had occurred to him 
while Sir Oswald Mosley was addressing the House.* 
Mr Warburton repeated, for the third time, his bit 
of historical lore about some enactment during the 
Commonwealth against "wandering in the fields 
and gossiping about porches;" and* Mr Roebuck 
treated the House to a fourth or fifth edition of his 
charge of " sheer downright hypocrisy." The first 
reading was carried by a majority of 200 against 82, 
showing a considerable improvement in the feehng of 
the House, But upon the motion for the second 

• The lines were these : — 

^In oonyenticle once, looking very blue, 
I saw two knights — Oswald and Agnew; 
The first he was a very strange one, 
T* other a rigid Puritane, one 
Who hang*d his wicked cat on Monday, 
Because she killed a mouse on Sunday/* 


reading, on the 18th of May following, the greater 

portion of this majority having absented themselves, 

the bill was lost in a thin House, by a majority of 32; 

the numbers being — in favour of the bill, 43; against 

it, 76.* 

This defeat, however, was followed by a powerful 

reaction in favour of the Sabbath cause; which led, 

in the following year, to a very different result. 

Several circumstances contributed to this favourable 

issue. Among these, doubtless, must be ranked a 

gradual increase in the number of those called '^ the 

religious members" of the House. The following 

statement, though not over correct in some of its 

facts, was not far wrong in its anticipations : — 

" Every one acquainted with the House must have been 
struck with the great addition to the number of religious 
members which has been made within the last few years. 
This fact is conclusively shown in the reception which late 
bills for the better observance of the Sabbath have met with, 
compared with the way in which those formerly introduced 
were treated Sir Andrew AgneVs first Sabbath bill, four 
years ago, was lost on the second reading by a majority of 
two to ona^l- In 1834, Mr Poulter's Sabbath bill was read 
a second time by a small migority, though lost in the third 
reading. The second reading of the Sabbath bill of the same 
gentleman, introduced last session (1835), was carried by a 
considerable majority, with reference to the numbers in the 
House at the time, though lost in an after stage by a small 
majority. I am aware there are several members who voted 
for the Sabbath bills of Mr Poulter, who would not have 
voted for those of Sir Andrew Agnew, — ^the latter being of 

• Mirror o/Parliamenty 21st April and 18th May 1836. 
t It was, in fact, lost by a majority of only six. See p. 177. 


a much more sweeping character than the former; but, bom 
a calculation I have made, I am satisfied Sir Andrew Agnew's 
minority, were he to i*e-introduce either of his former bills 
into the House, would be a third larger than on any former 
occasion. So great was the increase in the number of the 
supporters of his bill, or of those in favour of the prindple of 
the measure last year (1834), that the second reading was 
lost by a majority of only 36, the numbers being — ^for the 
second reading, 125; against it, 161."* 

But, while the Sabbath cause was strengthened by 
the accession of fresh auxiliaries within the walls of 
Parliament, other influences were at work beyond 
them which greatly contributed to its success. To 
the unwearied and cordial efforts of the Lord's-Day 
Society of London, ever first in this good work, there 
were now added those of many other societies esta- 
blished in the metropolis and throughout the country. 
In 1837, no fewer than eighty societies had been 
formed, and the Derbyshire society alone, instituted 
in 1834, was managed so well, under the secretary- 
ship of the Rev. William Le^ke of Holbrooke, near 
Derby, that it had gathered around it no fewer 
than eighty-one auxiliaries. These societies were, of 
course, so many foci, from which petitions and re- 
monstrances, speeches and tracts, were constantly 
emanating, and bearing upon Parliament. As a 
specimen of the peremptory and decided tone which 
the petitioners now assumed, we might quote the 
following from the " Sunday-Baking Abolition So- 
ciety," in which Sir Andrew took an active part* 

* Random Recollections of the House of Commons. Second Edition, 
1836, p. 372. 


" We entertain a much higher opinion of the people 
of England; than to suppose them unwilling to forego 
a comparatively trifling and doubtful convenience, 
which is found to bind a large and useful body of 
their fellow-citizens to a species of servitude, at once 
so degrading to the mind, as to produce many in- 
stances of reckless indifference to character, and so 
physically pernicious to the body, as to abridge the 
average term of their natural lives to the exceeding 
low ratio of forty-two years." ^* In considering the 
clauses of Sir Andrew Agnew's bill," says the Upper 
Chelsea Association, " we earnestly implore you to 
consider that you are standing between God and your 
fellow-creatures, and that thousands and tens of 
thousands of your defenceless fellow-subjects will, in 
all human probability, be made, in time arid eternity, 
what you may on this occasion contribute to make 
them." " We beg to assure you," say the Derby- 
shire Society, " having assisted in bringing the sub- 
ject before upwards of 20,000 people in this and 
other counties, that wherever Sir Andrew Agnew's 
bill has been explained, the feeling has been almost 
universal, that it was a reasonable and necessary 

The Rev. William Leeke, the honorary secretary 
of that society, has favoured us with the following 
communication, which cannot fail to prove interesting 
to our readers : — 

** Holbrooke, nkar Derby, Aug. 23, 1850. 
" I think my correspondence with my late much respected 
friend, Sir Andrew Agnew, commenced in April 1833, soon 


274 MR leeke's recollections. 

after he had brought forward in the House of Commons his 
bill for the protection of all clafises of persons in the enjoy- 
ment of the rest of the Lord's day. I had explained the 
nature and intention of the bill to the people of my parish, 
and had invited them to sign a petition in support of it, 
which the whole of the male population who were applied 
to did, with the exception of one individual. I shortly after 
wrote to Sir Andrew Agnew on the subject of the duties 
which excisemen were required to perform on the Lord's 
day, and, at the same time, mentioned the feeling with re- 
gard to his bill in my parish and neighbourhood. To this 
communication, Sir Andrew, who, I believe, never neglected 
to answer any letter on the subject of the observance of the 
Sabbath, replied at length, explaining various points in his 
bilL From this period, for thirteen years, until I was in- 
duced from ill health to relinquish my oflSce of honorary 
secretary to the Derbyshire Lord's-Day Society, I was in very 
frequent correspondence with him, especially during the ses- 
sions of Parliament. I made a rule of mentioning to him 
every project for the advancement of the cause he had so 
much at heart, which entered into my own mind; and he, 
in return, never hesitated to communicate his own views and 
plans, and to urge me, or our society, to take any steps 
which he thought would assist in promoting them. His 
labours in the way of correspondence must have been very 
great I remember at one time that his own franks were 
so engaged, that my letters to several correspondents, which 
I had been in the habit of sending daily through him, were 
transferred to another member, who kindly volunteered to 
receive and forward them. I well recollect my first inter- 
view and conversation with Sir Andrew, when I called on 
him at one of the hotels in Derby, preparatory to his meet- 
ing our committee on the 29th of January 1834. In the 
course of conversation I remarked, that it was a considerable 


trial to me, and quite contrary to my natural inclination and 
to the beau ideal I had formed of comfort, that I should be 
drawn forth by my desire to aid in promoting the due ob- 
servance of the Lord's day, from the quiet of my parish to 
become a sort of public character, as one of the secretaries 
of an active society. Sir Andrew replied, that his feeling 
had been precisely similar — ^that his inclination would have 
led him to prefer the life of a private coimtry gentleman, 
but that he had been brought by a sense of duty into his 
present position; that with regard to his taking up the cause 
of the observance of the Lord's day, as a member of the 
House of Commons, he felt the trial of becoming thus con- 
spicuous, and so much exposed to the ridicule of the careless 
and thoughtless ; and that, when he at first turned his atten- 
tion to the subject, he had no idea of becoming the cham- 
pion of the cause in the House of Commons, but that he 
found no other member willing to take it up, and, therefore, 
waa impelled by a sense of duty not to shrink from doing so 
himself He said that he had not thought at first of bring- 
ing forward so comprehensive a bill, but he found, that to 
be consistent he must endeavour to protect all classes in the 
enjoyment of the rest of the Lord's day as far as it was pos- 
sible to do so, without interfering with cases of necessity and 
mercy, and with the privacy and religious hberty of indivi- 
duals and familiea He often remarked, in his subsequent 
correspondence and conversations, that he felt it to be his 
duty to act upon the above principles in framing his bill, 
and that he must leave it to Parliament to cut it down as 
they in their wisdom might judge proper. He said he was 
assailed by members on all sides to bring in a more moderate 
measure, but that none could agree as to what that moderate 
measure should be. When thus pressed, he was in the 
habit of referring to the petitions from the several classes 
who were deprived of the Lord's day as a day of rest, and 

276 MR leeke's recollections. 

of asking the members which of these classes he was to 
exclude from the benefit which his bill was intended to pro- 
cure for them. At this our first meeting he also remarked, 
that we must not shrink from the work, either from a dislike 
to publicity, or from any false modesty — ^that the affairs of 
the world were chiefly managed by persons of about our 
aga Sir Andrew was then about forty, and I a few years 

" Sir Andrew's first interview with the committee of the 
Derbyshire Society, and the view then taken in this county 
of his principles of legislation, may be gathered from an ac- 
count of the proceedings of the Society, published on the 
11th of February 1834, seven weeks after its formation.* 

" This pamphlet was sent to each member of Parliament, 
and Sir Andrew often referred to it in his conversations 
with individual members, to show the feeling of the country 

* ** The great object was farther favoured in Derby, yesterday, by 
Sir Andrew Agnew passing through the town, on his way to attend his 
parliamentary duties in London. He kindly permitted himself to be 
introduced to the committee, with mutual pleasure. Encouragement 
on both sides was the result, to endeavour to raise public opinion to 
legislation for the iSabbath upon Christian principles, rather than to 
have legislation lowered to the prevailing tone of principles, or rather 
no principles, of a more unworthy character. And while the committee 
seemed fully to depend upon the blessing of God for the success of the 
Sabbath Society, in connection wdth other means, in order to the desired 
elevation of national feeling. Sir Andrew appeared fully prepared to 
pursue his honest and honourable course, whatever the House of Com- 
mons might please to do with his measures. However they might be 
pared down or defeated, no legislation appeared likely to be really satis- 
factory, or permanently successful, but that which, first or last, amounted 
substantially to the system propounded in his bill. Several inquiries 
and details were mutually entered into ; and the meeting separated with 
prayer." — Some Account of th^ Proceedings of Derby and Derbyshire 
Auxiliary Society for Promoting the Due Observance of the Lord's 
Day, p. 9. Derby: 1834. 


in fkvour of his comprehensive measura He told me that it 
served him as a ' pocket pistol' on such occasions. 

" I have no occasion to trouble you with the details of the 
measures we took, in conjunction with the other societies, to 
support Sir Andrew's bills in the sessions of 1835 and 1836. 
At the close of the latter year, he did me the honour to 
address to me a letter, which he printed. In this letter he 
particularly spoke of the increasing support and encoui-age- 
ment he had received in the House of Commons in each 
succeeding session, although his bill had always been thrown 
out on the second reading; and he requested that in our 
conmiunications with members we would urge them, in the 
ensuing session of 1837, to vote the bill into a committee 
of the whole House, ' wherein the merits of each separate 
detail might be freely discussed, retained, amended, or re- 
jected, as might seem meet' He also spoke of the fact, 
that when several bills of a more limited extent than his 
own, were introduced by other members friendly to the 
cause, *they were all treated by the House worse than 

To give our readers some idea of the correspon- 
dence in which Sir Andrew engaged, and on which 
he relied as his right arm in conducting the Sabbath 
conflict, we may here give a few extracts from his 
letters to the Rev. William Leeke. These letters 
alone, it may be observed, amount to nearly one 
hundred and fifty ! 

" March 8, 1834. — All looks well at present. Lord Wyn- 
ford in the most courteous manner apologized for his seeming 
discourtesy. He knew nothing of my notice, until Lord 
Bexley wrote to tell him of it. The incident will I trast do 
good, being overruled. I must now proceed on Tuesday, 


after a weary week. I rejoice to think that to-morrow is 
the day which the Lord hath made. May He enable me 
and mine, and you and yours, to rejoice and be glad in it! 
Confiding that on Tuesday your prayers will be with me, 
fiaithfuUy yours.'' 

^^ March 15, 1834. — Many thanks for your congratula- 
tions, and accept my felicitations on the success which has 
been vouchsafed to your own cause, or rather to that cause 
which is neither yours nor mine. The change produced 
within the House, by the pressure firom out of doors, was 
most obvious during the last ten days; therefore, I say, take 
heart and proceed in the same course as hitherto, and talk 
not of ^taking too much upon you,' unless you mean to 
taunt an humble individual from a remote comer of Scot- 
land, who hesitates not to disturb the so-called peace of 
civilized society." 

" April 3, 1834. — There are some men who advised the 
bringing in of a partial measure, without reference to the 
great principle — to such we have already refused to listen. 
Mr Peter exemplified last year, that the enemy could not 
be won over by concession. But some of our best friends 
advised, at the beginning of this session, that principle should 
be respected by bringing forward the whole question, divid- 
ing the different provisions into several bills. To me it 
always appeared, that such a coiu^e of proceeding would 
have, in effect, been an invitation to a lukewarm House to 
make a show of complying with the wishes of the country, 
by supporting some one bill; and while each member sup- 
jSorted some one bill, it requires very little arithmetic to 
show that all the bills might at the same time be rejected. 
Our object is to bring both the House and the country to 
the consideration of the principle — the object of the enemy 
is to divert attention by dwelling on exceptions. His first 
observation is, *you go too far' — his second is, * why do you 


except domestic servants?' What I now wish to call your 
attention to, is the fact, that I did so far comply with the 
wishes of our best friends, as to make the fairs and markets, 
which occupied a clause last year, a distinct bill in this ses- 
sion — and it has been thrown out ! Now, mark the conse- 
quence — look to the evidence of the coach proprietors, and 
to the paragraph in the House of Commons' Report regarding 
travelling, and it will be found that it was never thought 
possible to put a stop to Sunday travelling, without the 
removal of Monday markets — the coach proprietors still say. 
Remove the markets, and the coaches will be unnecessary. 
Now, how are we to proceed with the travelling clause V 

" May 10, 1834. — It was with regret that I let yesterday 
pass away without thanking you for your kind letter of the 
8th, and also for the Derby papers. Do not be distressed 
about the remarks of the editor ; for I am so habituated to 

abuse, that even fsdnt praise has lost its sting. We 

surely have reason to be content with our progress, seeing 
in how few instances the influence of the press has been with 
us, and almost universally its mighty power directed against 
ua Although a Mightier has led tis hitherto, yet we should 
not despise the means, when within our reach, of furthering 
our * moral' cause, and I should be very glad if your former 

suggestions could be carried into effect With our 

progress I am well content An M.P., lately returned from 
the north of England, told me yesterday of the anxiety of 
his constituents, saying with much gravity, * This House has 
no idea of the interest which people in the country take 
in the Sabbath question.' He had just received petitions 
expressing regret on the rejection of my bill It is most 
amusing and satisfactory to see the desire of many to ori- 
ginate bills — to-day I send you Lord Wynford's bill. I 
have many feeurs about Mr H. Fleetwood's bill. I am still 
endeavouring to get him to limit himself to such points as 


we are agreed upon. If he persists in going against any 
principle, it will be my painful duty to point out such points 
for the opposition of our friends." 

" July 24, 1834. — For myself I can only say, that when a 
member, in private conversation, expressed the hope that I 
was not displeased with an observation which had fallen 
from him in the heat of debate, my reply was an assurance 
that nothing which could be said or done in the House of 
Commons could affect the opinion which I had formed, nor 
the merits of the question for which I contended." 

^^ February 4, 1835. — Only stand to your colours, and 
fight every inch of ground. If you give a point to the enemy, 
he will fling it back at your own head. Recollect, last year 
you endeavoured to raise the moral standard in every parish 
in England. A short time since, the Chelsea Auxiliary 
recommended half measurea A deputation from the parent 
society went to aigue the point — the result has been two 
donations, and this day has come a ' resolution,' declaring 
that they ' are quite convinced, that it is only by standing 
on Scripture ground that the cause can be advocated,' Let 
us not trouble ourselves about the result, but resolve to * en- 
dure all things.' Every member of the Lord's-Day Society 
I look upon as a schoolmaster, appointed to bring his friends 
and neighbours to the Lord of the SabbatL It must be 
confessed, that some of our pupils are very slow of under- 

^^ February 12, 1835. — It is deUghtful to see that you 
are still true to your principles, tmshaken by the assaults 
of the enemy. You have made the discovery, that ' it is 
when we refine that we differ, and this the Bible never 
does.' We once thought that by limiting our demands 
on the legislature, that we should diminish our difficulties; 
but experience lias taught us that the greatest difficulties 
are to define limitation, and that it is in vain that we strive 


to frame an Act of Parliament more judicious than the 
written Word. We attained this knowledge step by step, 
and so probably must all others. While our friends and 
neighbours are in a state of pupilage, many will despise, but 
they will find in the end that they cannot improve upon, 
eternal truth. In the mean time, we must endure patiently 
the imputation of bigotry." 

" May 12, 1836. — In reply to yoiu- question, I should not 
be sorry if any unavoidable expedient within the House 
were to prevent my bringing on the question of second 
reading on Wednesday next But I fear to show, or seem 
to show, an unwillingness to continue the contest. Hitherto, 
both victories and defeats have alike served our cause. Mr 
Haldane Stewart, with much animation, remarked some 
months since, * A few more such defeats, and we are made ! ' ** 

^^May 20, 1836. — Pardon me for not having written 
yesterday to congratulate you on the accomplishment of 
your wish, that no Lord's-day bill should pass this ses- 
sion. If it has been your object hitherto to convince the 
country that the members of the honourable House are 
ignorant of that which is experimentally known to all the 
coachmen, horse-keepers, canal-men, and hucksters in the 
kingdom, you have had much done to bring out that igno- 
rance in its full extent But do not flatter yourself that 
Othello's occupation is gona The extent of the ignorance 
that is within doors may be ascertained ; but there it will 
remain intact, until through it your policy has made a 

"May 23, 1836.— In reply to Mr Wilson's letter, I 
have told him how much I regret having brought the 
Sabbath question to a close so soon, not that there was 
any probability of success in the present session ; but, by 
keeping it open, more encouragement might have been 
given to the formation of country societies, with a vie\v 


to future campaign& Many such repulses we must look for. 
Many members had gone out of town to eke out the length 
of the hohdays, which were near at hand. The Epsom races, 
and the Derby, took many away, &a &c As regards the 
House, I could not have done better with any certainty; 
but as regards the country, I do regret what has happened. 
My errors will, I trust, be overruled by the good providence 
of God ; and may I alone bear the chastisement while the 
cause prospers I 

" F^. — More petitions come in every day to scourge me." 

" May 27, 1836. — * Go to the ant, thou sluggard,' as you 
well observe, implies that we aU need to learn wisdom from 
that Scriptural schoolmaster. To your ant-like suggestions, 
I hope to be sufficiently awake to make a reply in a day or 

"May 28, 1836. — ^A few letters enclosed may help to 
show that, as regards the country, our parliamentary weak- 
ness maketh His strength perfect The subject has, I trust, 
been permitted to take a strong hold of the public mind." 

"September 8, 1836. — I have much pleasure in sending 
Mr Radford's reply, as a pocket-pistol to be presented at 
every coach proprietor on your line of road ; and should the 
first shot not take effect, the heavy metal of Mr Bianconi's 
experience must silence all gainsayers." 

On the 8th of March J 834, a public breakfast was 
given to Sir Andrew, at Derby, " as a testimony of 
their high estimation of his unceasing and valuable 
exertions, both in and out of Parliament, to promote 
the due observance of the Lord's day, and particu- 
larly to secure that day as a day of rest to every 
member of the British community." Upwards of 
a hundred gentlemen, including many clergymen, 
assembled, and the meeting was presided over by 


the mayor, W. L. Newton, Esq. The company sat 
down at ten, and did not break up till two o'clock. 
On this occasion. Sir Andrew delivered one of his 
characteristic speeches : — 

^' He could assure the meeting, with perfect simplicity, 
that no one could more truly feel his own inadequacy 
than he did, to speak to a great public question like the 
present One expression in the resolution gave thanks 
to the Almighty for having raised him up as an humble 
instrument to carry on the work which they were then 
met to advocate. All men were answerable to God fbr 
the use of their influence or talent; but the only talent 
for which he felt he was responsible was, that he possessed 
the power to stand up in the House of Commons. In 
defiance of prejudice and sarcasm, he would propose the 
measure with which they were well acquainted. Adequately 
to do justice to that measure, which had fallen into his un- 
worthy hands, was beyond his capacity. He was thankful, 
that for five years he had been enabled to brave all obloquy, 
and had stood up in ParUament in its defence. It had been 
his prayer to be enabled to do this. It was for him to stand, 
and they to come to the rescue. After some further remarks 
on the claims of the Sabbath, and of the working classes, 
Sir Andrew begged to thank a coach proprietor who, he 
understood, was present, who had refused to run his coach 
on the Sunday. (Some one informed the speaker that he 
had only objected to it.) Well, that was good. It was an 
old expression in his country, amongst those who had put 
down Popery, that if they could do nothing more, they could 
testify. His friend had testified against the running of the 
coach, and this was the first step to the suppression of the 
practice. But they must not place too heavy a blame on 
coach proprietors; it was not they only, but those who 


travelled, that were to blame. One of the greatest coach 
proprietors in London, who had given up the Sunday stages, 
said to him, * Do not give us too much credit; it is for want 
of passengers that we have abandoned the stagea' And 
he was convinced, if every gentleman in that company 
would persuade a friend to abandon Sunday travelling, it 
would almost stop the practice. Let us not conceal from 
ourselves the truth, that till there is an extensive change in 
the habits of society at large, the better observance of the 
Sabbath will not be secured Without a radical change (he 
was quite content to be thought a radical here) in the 
habits of society, their object could not be secured. Let all 
plans be formed during the week, with an eye to the Sab- 
bath as a day of rest. No man wished to lead a life of 
perpetual labour ; but this was never thought of by many 
persons who employ others. He knew a lady who was asked 
by a tradesman on the Saturday, if she wanted any fish ; — 
she replied, * I will let you know to-morrow;' and when he 
explained that he was anxious to avoid business on the 
Lord's day, she frankly confessed it had never occurred to 
her, that when she was eating her usual dinner, she was the 
cause of the desecration of the Sabbath. Some persons said, 
they did not like the coercive character of his bill; but they 
did not reflect that the upper classes never gave an order 
without affecting many grades of society. He that received 
the order, coerced those under him, down to the lowest class; 
and it was to protect that class, which was an act of true 
benevolence, that his bill was framed. Sir Andrew Agnew 
then stated it as a melancholy fact, that in the metropolis, 
amongst many classes of tradesmen, there was scarcely a 
man occup}ring an influential station that was not bom and 
bred in the country; the habits of society were so depraved 
in London, that it was found to a vast extent that children 
brought up there were not trustworthy. He had been in- 


formed by the keeper of a gin shop, that he coiild not trust 
at his counter a native of London. This want of integrity 
arose from the total neglect of the Sabbath. Sir Andrew 
concluded by saying, that if they wished to assist him, they 
must convert their own members. If every constituency 
would take in hand its own members, he should soon have 
a large majority in favour of his bill. His only ability was 
that of standing up; he had not eloquence to command at- 
tention, and he was not listened to with patience in the 
House. He had neither pleasing address, loud voice, nor 
the power of condensation ; and in his attempts to condense 
what he had to say, he frequently became unintelligible. 
He frankly confessed he had not the power to move the 
House of Commons; but if they had the most powerful 
advocate, he would make no impression; the subject was 
distasteful, because it involved a change of habits to which 
they were averse. Still he did not despair; what he could 
not do, must be effected by the enticing eloquence of the 
constituencies of the country. Petitions had a moral force 
which, generally speaking, neutralized opposition, if it did 
not make friends. These were secular considerations, and 
he felt humbled, after the high groimd he had taken, to 
condescend to them ; but they must learn wisdom from the 
enemy, and when they saw parties carrying aJl before them, 
from their knowledge of human nature, they must not hesi- 
tate to follow the example. Sir Andrew sat down amid 
the applause of the meeting."* 

Every one must be struck with the lowly estimate 
of his own qualifications, as an advocate of the Sab- 
bath, so frankly expressed in this address. But the 
modesty of Sir Andrew appears not less in what he 
conceals than in what he confesses. He says nothing 

♦ Beeord, March 16, 1837. 


of the unwearied exertions which he had made^ and 
was still making, in behalf of that cause, in the form 
of correspondence and personal intercourse — exer- 
tions which, whether we consider the vast extent of 
ground which they embraced, the endless variety of 
character and sentiment with which he had to deal, 
or the harassing and often depressing opposition 
which he had to encounter, involved an amount of 
mental and physical labour, of which few besides 
those who have been similarly engaged can form an 
adequate conception. His letters, as he once said in 
the House, were " almost innumerable ; " embracing 
the whole empire, and all classes of correspondents, 
from the peer to the peasant, from the gay denizens 
of the saloon to the brawny sons of toil in the bake- 
house, the barge, and the cook-shop. Nor does he 
say much of that indomitable perseverance which 
would yield neither to friend or foe, and which, in 
such a cause, was of more importance than the most 
brilliant powers of oratory. In truth, the policy which 
he so earnestly recommended in this address, and 
which he steadily followed in his own practice, soon 
began to tell on the House. On the 18th of May 
1836, the table of the House of Commons absolutely 
groaned under the multitude of petitions which were 
presented en masse by a vast number of honourable 
members; and Sir Andrew had reason for saying 
that " the House having witnessed the extraordinary 
scene which had passed, must be satisfied that the 
feeling on this subject is very strong out of doors." 
The same scene was repeated next year; and we may 


conceive the effect, when the reli^ous mind of such 
a large portion of the empire was brought to bear 
on Parliament. Many, who still remained person- 
ally unconvinced, felt themselves constrained to vote 
in accordance with the desires of their constitu- 

He used to describe, with infinite glee and graphic 
humour, the curious changes produced on various 
members, when, to their amazement and confusion, 
they found themselves inundated with a flood of pe- 
titions, backed by missives from their constituents, 
aU desiring, and even demanding, their votes for 
Sir Andrew's bill. Some of these would come up 
to him with great empressement, beseeching him to 
give them a certificate, under his own hand, that they 
had faithfully presented the petitions entrusted to 
them. Others, hardly mincing the curse that came 
to their lips, would intreat him, in the name of all 
that was good, to introduce some "rational measure," 
which they might find it possible to support. " Sir !" 
said one honourable member, strutting up to him with 
the air of offended virtue, " you have been in corres- 
pondence with my constituents !" "Sir," replied Sir 
Andrew, mildly, " I am in correspondence with the 
constituents of every member of the House." "Well," 
rejoined the other, " I confess you are the most honest 
enthusiast I ever met with ! " * 

Another weapon, in the use of which Sir Andrew 

* " Indeed, I have received communications from the constituencies 
of ahnost every honourable member in this House in favour of my bill." 
— Sir A. Agnew, Mirror of Parliament^ May 19, 1837. 


placed considerable dependence during his campaign 
both in and out of Parliament, was that of reiteration. 
Superficial observers were struck by the frequency 
with which he repeated the same sentiments and 
arguments, and may have set this down to the bar- 
renness and commonplace of the subject or of the 
man. But, in fact, this also was a piece of poUcy, 
and the result of deliberate intention. " jN^on rt, sed 
scepe cadendoy' was the maxim on which Sir Andrew 
calculated for success. With an assiduity which more 
resembled the steady movements of mechanism than 
the intermittent efforts of human volition, he embraced 
every opportunity of reiterating the facts and prin- 
ciples which he sought to impress on the legislature 
and on the country. " By no other means," he said, 
" can the public mind be more effectually benefited, 
than by frequently reiterating that which is of admit- 
ted excellence. The reiteration is, at least, a proof of 
the publisher's being himself convinced ; and others, 
to whom the same arguments once carried home con- 
viction, may be profitably reminded of the eternal 
truths." * 

In the country at large. Sir Andrew was gratified 
and encouraged by observing a marked improvement 
in public feeling with regard to the Sabbath. " We 
think it must strike the minds of our readers gene- 
rally," writes the Recordy May 18, 1837, "that the 
persevering efforts now making to promote the due 
observance of the Lord's day, are being followed, 
under the blessing of God, by the desired effects ; 

* Letter to RfcordjJune 25, 1838. 


that not only have the exertions of Sir Andrew 
Agnew, and those of the Sabbath Observance So- 
ciety, been already followed by a manifest improve- 
ment in the country, but that the public mind is 
gradually becoming impressed with more clear and 
just views of the subject, and is making itself sensibly 
felt in Parliament, and is exhibited in the improved 
writing of the respectable part of the pubhc press. 
The difficulties in the way of final success are many, 
and may take a long time to be removed ; but the 
progress in the right direction is manifest, the present 
advantage is great, and the work acceptiible to God." 
If Sir Andrew's uncompromising zeal in the Sab- 
bath cause raised him up many enemies among the 
worldly and the profane, it drew to him many friends 
among another class, who honoured him for his 
Master's and for his work's sake. Of this he had 
repeated proofs, not only in the numerous letters 
which he received from entire strangers, expressing 
their respect and admiration, and cheering him on in 
the good cause he had undertaken, but in the ordi- 
nary intercourse of life. If he left his address at a 
shop where he had been giving orders, often would 
the shopman, on discovering his customer, tell him 
the interest with which he had followed his course in 
Parliament, and wished or prayed for his success. 
" But, sir," they would say, " you might have gained 
more had you attempted less." "Oh, sir!" one 
man eagerly called out, after reading his name on 
the card, " if you would only go for a trading bill ! 
you might have succeeded in that before this time." 



"Well, but, my friend," would Sir Andrew reply, 
" do you not see that it is because I have only more 
extended views of what you call a trading bill that I 
have included labour of every description ; and I 
don't think I should have succeeded better if I had 
asked less?" Again, when travelling, about the 
year 1837, on his way down to Scotland, and about 
to take his seat in the coach, a very respectable man 
took off his hat to hira, and Sir Andrew, returning 
the courtesy, inquired where he had had the pleasure 
of meeting him. " At Exeter Hall, sir," he repHed. 
" There I saw you, and I respect you, sir ; and wish 
you all success in your Sabbath labours." Perceiving 
the sort of man his new acquaintance was. Sir Andrew 
asked, with some anxiety, if he was to have his com- 
pany on the journey. " We are going the same way, 
are we not ? " He said he was. " An inside pas- 
senger, I hope, sir ? " " ISTo, sir ; I am the coach- 
man. I did not always drive this coach, however. I 

drove the crack coach on road (naming it) ; 

but, having to work on the Lord's day, I gave it up, 
and now drive this one, which, though inferior, does 
not run on Sunday." Many, who never saw his face, 
loved and prayed for him. A near relative, visiting 
a small town in the south of England, put a letter 
into the post-office, addressed to Sir Andrew ; and 
at the same time stopped to ask a question of the 
post-mistress. On observing the address, she looked 
up quickly at him, and said, " Wliy, sir, do you know 
that gentleman ? " pointing to the name. " To be sure 
I do — ^he is a nephew of mine ; but what makes you 


ask? are you acquainted with him?" "Only by 
character/' she replied ; " and I love that man. Yes, 
sir, I and many more love and honour him for what 
he has done to procure us a rest on the Lord's day. 
Tell him so, sir, when you see him ; and encourage 
him to persevere, and assure him that I never forget, 
night nor morning, to pray for him ! " The gentle- 
man was astonished. He had no idea of meeting, in 
a remote country town, with such a strong demon- 
stration of feeling in the cause; but he had not 
realized, as his nephew had done, that weary, never- 
ending drudgery at the post-office which led its 
slaves to pant for the wings of the Sabbath dove, 
that they might "fly away and be at rest." May we 
not rejoice that that release is at hand ? The fol- 
lowing communication upon this subject may be 
given. as a specimen of the many letters received by 
Sir Andrew from persons in all trades and profes- 
sions : — 

« PosT-OFFics, 8 , May 22, 1837. 

" HoNOUKED Sir, — Having the highest opinion of your 
great character, I do venture to hope that you will con- 
descendingly allow me, though a stranger and a very humble 
individual, to say a few words; and if my feelings are per- 
suading me to take too great liberty, it is really, sir, because 
I anxiously hope that your attempts to pass a law for the 
better observance of the Sabbath may be crowned with 
complete success; and admiring, as I have done, the noble 
stand you have made against the opposition raised to defeat 
your good designs. 

" I keep the post-ofl5ce in this town, and do greatly lament 
that the laws of this country compel me and others to attend 


to the duties of the situation on that sacred day; and I do 
believe that a very great majority of those who hold the 
same situations throughout the country, would rejoice to see 
that blessed time arrive when all business connected with 
the post-office shall be suspended on the Sabbath. If in 
London, the metropolis of the world, the post-office is closed 
and no letters delivered there on that day, surely it cannot 
be necessary to throw them open to all the business of a 
market day throughout the inferior towns of the empire. 
And if a great sin in London, certainly no less offensive to 
the Deity through this country, whatever the fancied incon- 
venience might be. 

"I have kept the post-office in this town about twelve 
months, and certainly do believe, from a matured observation, 
that a great portion of the irreligion and infidelity of the 
country, and also the conspicuous desire to subvert all good 
government, arises from the deluge of newspapers which 
arrive and are taken on the Sabbath, the greater part of 
which contain that which is too much suited to feed the 
depraved mind, and prevent the intemperate readers from 
attending the worship of their great Creator, and doing 
Him honour by hallowing His Sabbaths and reverencing 
His sanctuary. 

" I am aware, sir, that the infidel part of the country is 
arrayed against you; but it appears more painful to know, 
that some who profess religion will say that a government 
has no right to make any laws to restrict business on that 
day. Certainly such people must first prove that the present 
laws, so far as they do go, are useless ; whereas the most 
ignorant know, were they altogether repealed, it would be 
at once a signal for universal profaneness, and be hailed with 
the greatest exultation by the friends of Satan. 

" It gives me, sir, the greatest joy to hear that you are 
determined to make another attempt to persuade the House 


of Commons to pass the bill May the great God of heaven 
and earth smile on your blessed endeavours; do noty sir, alack 
or let any opposition hinder you in the good work, for I 
really believe that there is an increasing desire throughout 
the country in favour of the measure. I am happy to say, that 
within these few days three petitions to support it were for- 
warded to Henry Handly, Esq., and Heathcoate, 

Esq., members for South Lincolnshire, and each, I understand 
with pleasure, promised to present and support them. 

" I hope you will condescendingly forgive me in taking this 
liberty, and my sincere prayer is, that heaven may bless your 
eCForta — I am, &c." 

The next communication is of a very different, 
though no less pleasing character : — 

** Nottingham, Fdruary *I, 1837. 

" Miss I. R desires to acknowledge Sir A. Agnew's 

obliging reception of her address to him. Miss R will 

adopt his invaluable suggestion, that this ^peculiarly do- 
mestic question ' should be taken up by ladies, as ladies — 
by mothers and mistresses of families, as sucL She is pre- 
paring lessons for infant schools intended to impress infant 
minds on the subject The great aboUtion of slavery ques- 
tion was carried by those who were infants when Wilberforce 
first brought it forward. May Sir A. Agnew see an earlier 
triimiph; but if not, may he live, like that venerable man, 
to witness it at last ! 

" The maxim of Pestalozzi as to education applies well to 
the exertions in this cause, — * Simplify and repeat — repeat 
and simphfy.' To the effectual 'sermon' that the bill has 

preached. Miss R can testify. * The drop that wears the 

marble,' may be the device for the motto." 

In noticing the encouragements which Sir Andrew 
received in his Sabbath labours, we cannot omit a 


favourite case^ of which he made ample use— that of 
the Dundee barber, which occurred in 1837. We 
shall give it in Sir Andrew's own words : — 

" An apprentice boy was required by his master (a barber) 
to work upon the morning of the Lord's day ; — this was at 
Dundee, where the magistrates decided in favour of the 
master, that the apprentice shoidd work until ten o'clock in 
the morning.* The apprentice appealed to the Court of 
Session, where the Lord Ordinary in the Outer House, Lord 
Jefifrey — I name him to his honour — determined in favour 
of the apprentice. The master appealed to the Inner Court 
of the Second Division, where, I am sorry to say, a decision 
by a majority was given for the master; although one of 
their lordships — I name him, too, to his honour — ^the Lord 
Justice-Clerk (Boyle) — insisted upon the authority of this 
Act, 1690, which is, in fact, a ratification of the Confession 
of Faith of the Church of Scotland The apprentice appealed 
to the House of Lords, and obtained a final decision in his 
own favour. And how was this, the true interpretation of 
the law of Scotland, ascertained by the Lord High Chancellor 
of England, and by the other learned lords by whom he was 

* The indenture in the case of the defender, William Phillips, bore 
that he should serve his master four years, " as a faithful and obedient 
apprentice, and not to absent himself from his master's business, holiday 
or week-day, late hours or early, without leave, first asked and obtained." 
In his Note appended to his decision, Lord Jeffrey says, " If holidays 
meant Sundays (which is the respondent's construction), then the con- 
tract must have meant, that the apprentice must serve on Sundays 
exactly as he did on week-days, and that there should be no distinction 
between them. Yet he admits, that he could not require him to work, 
even at shaving, during divine service, nor at wig-making, even on the 
Sunday morning. If he says he should only work when consistent with 
law and decency, then the Lord Ordinary is of opinion that he should 
not work on that day at all." — (Report of tite Case of Datikl Innes, 
Barber and Hairdresser, Dundee^ uijainst his Apprentice^ William 

Mli BIANCONI. -95 

assisted? Simply by a reference to the Act 1690, which em- 
bodies the Confession of Faith of the Church of Scotland."* 

Another singular testimony in favour of the prin- 
ciple for which Sir Andrew pleaded, was afforded by 
Mr Bianconi of Clonmell, in Ireland, whose establish- 
ment of " day-cars" ran, during six days of the week, 
over two thousand miles of country, and who was also 
contractor for carrying the mail in cars over some 
hundred miles of cross-roads. This gentleman, a 
Roman Catholic, gave in evidence, as the result of 
his experience, before a statistical society, " that a 
horse can run ten miles per day for six days of the 
week better than eight miles per day for seven days 
of the week, which is seven per cent, more in favour 
of the Sabbath rest, and that there is an actual 
saving of thirteen per cent, from not working the 
horses on Sunday." Whereupon, he simply remarks, 
^^ I am persuaded that man cannot be wiser than his 

The following gives a still more affecting illustra- 
tion of the benefit which Sir Andrew strove to secure 
for the working classes. In his place in Parliament, 
he says :— 

" As an instance of the good effects which may be expected 
to result from the cessation of Sunday labour, I may mention 
the case of the Mersey and Irwell Canal Company, who have 
put a stop to Sunday navigation. That excellent regulation 
has been productive of the greatest moral effects upon the 
men. They are required to work up to twelve o'clock on 
the Saturday night, and to commence work again at twelve 

* From Speech at a Church Extension Meetmg at Edinburgh, No- 
vember 14, 1838.— ii'<?porr. p. 23, 


on the Sunday night. This, it is true, is very laborious, 
but the men have pledged themselves to save their masters 
from loss. This is one great step towards the desired reform 
on this subject. These men have expressed, in a petition to 
the House, presented this evening, their great gratitude to 
the proprietors of the canal for the boon thus granted them. 
Other canal companies, however, have taken advantage of 
this merciful indulgence to the poor man, and rival estab- 
lishments have held it out a^ an induoement to the public 
to deal with them, that there was no remission of Sunday 
work with them. This, sir, is not a question of merchandise 
merely, but it has reference to the bone and muscle, and the 
immortal souls of our fellow-men, all disregarded by ava- 
ricious masters, who, for their own paltry gain, refuse to 
listen to the spiritual interests of their fellow-men. This 
bill is framed for the good of all classes. I stand up as the 
advocate of an entire Sabbath, and the people have responded 
by their petitions; I will not, therefore, desert any class who 
place confidence in me."* 

We continue our extracts from his correspondence 
with the Rev. Mr Leeke : — 

''March 14, 1837. — My Dear Sir, — AH your kindness, 
and that of so many good friends in Derbyshire, is more to 
be feared than the daily bread of frowns of the last few years ; 
more likely to turn the head, and delude into the idea that 
there is some merit in the instrument But you may also 
give the antidote, and pray that it may never, for a moment, 
be forgotten that the talisman is with *the Word' itself, 
whosesoever be the feeble hands in which, for the time being, 
it is found." 

''March 24, 1837. — The Carlisle address is milk for 
})abes; nevertheless, I wish that every town had such an 
infant school, that, by reason of use, their stomachs may in 

* Mirror of Parliament, Mav 18, 1836. 


time be brought to digest strong meat Enclosed is a letter 
from Mr Garrett, a chancery barrister. Can you not follow 
up his suggestion of making a vehement appeal to the clergy, 
calling upon them to address the rich of all classes to assist, 
and not to thwart, by their example?" 

^^ April 19, 1837. — Your account of the correspondence 
with the boat-owners and wharfingers is very satis&x^rj'. 
We were told, a few years since, that the flat-men were 
at the bottom of the scale of demoralization. They bid 
fair, in some districts at least, to ascend rapidly. The 
interval of the 4th of May grows rapidly shorter. I hope 
there may be no misunderstanding either with the boat- 
owners or their men ; but that they are taking care, with 
all others, to let their efforts point to the * Committee of 
the whole House' for a general measure, which will bring 
every bi-anch of the subject under discussion. Any mis- 
understanding on this point might at this moment be 
fatal to all our plan. It is thus that we hope to bring mem- 
bers to the test, who have hitherto shown less willingness 
to discuss a limited measure than to discuss my general 
measure ; thus evading both." 

" May 3, 1837. — The minds of men are scattered over 
many societies; and the religious public have not yet been 
enlightened to see that the observance of the Lord's day is 
essential to the working out of all their benevolent schemes. 
This point was well argued by Sir Thomas Deanes, an Irish 
gentleman, at the breakfast." 

" May 29, 1837. — We shall want all manner of letters from 
all manner of persons, to all the members with whom they 
have any acquaintance, asking all to be in their places on 
the 7th of June, to support the second reading of the Lord's- 
Day Bill. Try the experiment of getting respectable men, 
in an humble walk of life, to address their representatives as 


"JuTie 1, 1837. — My chief anxiety now is to get a good 
House on Wednesday next — ^therefore, letters, letters, let- 
ters !'' 

Thus armed by the opinions of the religious com- 
munity, expressed through so many channels. Sir 
Andrew was emboldened to bring his measure, for 
the fourth time, before the House of Commons, May 
4, 1837. On the motion for the^r*^ reading of the 
bill, there appeared — 

Ayes 199 

Noes... 53 

Majority 146 

As usual, he immediately reports progress to the 
partner of his hopea and cares : — 

** Friday Morning^ I o^dock, 

"Dearest Madeline, — ^The first pen to paper must be to 
give you the good news, and to thank God for it. We had a 
famous debate — the members keeping together until the late 
hour of eleven o'clock on purpose for it Warburton, as usual, 
moved the amendment ; and his supporters were of the purest 
radicals and infidels, while many old opponents voted with me 
(the pressure from without !), and friends were more staunch 
than ever, and more anxious to speak. Mr Ward, in the course 
of the debate, reminded Sir Robert Peel of the opinion 
which he had formerly given against all Sabbath legisla- 
tion. Sir Robert made no reply, but voted with me. Good 
night, dearest Your own, A. A" 

In the mean time. Sir Andrew received large pro- 
mises of support in the House. It is amusing to 
observe the eagerness with which he caught at the 
most distant intimations dropped by honourable 


members, of an incipient favour towards his favou- 
rite measure, and the cautious shrinking, on their 
part, from pledging themselves in its behalf. On 
one occasion, Sir Robert Peel, Sir George Clerk, 
and some others, having requested Sir Andrew to 
withdraw a railway clause, hinting that it might 
prejudice his bill. Sir Andrew said — " My honour- 
able friends have offered me a premium. They have 
offered, if I will consent to the withdrawal of this 
clause, to support me in a general measure. This 
is too great a temptation for me to resist. I will 
therefore, with the permission of the House, with- 
draw the clause." Upon this. Sir Robert, with his 
characteristic caution, begged to say he attached no 
condition to compliance with his advice — he entered 
into no such engagement. It reminds one of Paul's 
eager anticipation, " King Agrippa, believest thou ? 
I know that thou believest;" and the king's cauti- 
ous reply, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a 

The grand debate, however, was reserved for Wed- 
nesday the 7th of June, when Sir Andrew moved 
the second reading of the bill. On this occasion, 
the discussion was opened with great effect by Mr 
Plumptre, who read several passages from Scripture, 
denouncing the judgments of God on nations which 
despised his Sabbaths. His references to the De- 
calogue called forth an expression of dissent, which 
proved at once how distasteful to many was the 
argument which went to place the Fourth Com- 
mandment on an equality with the rest. Mr Roe- 


buck, whose main objection on former occasions was, 
that Sir Andrew had unfairly overlooked the rich, 
and who was wont to ask, with triumphant sneer, 
"Why do you not attack the club-rooms and Hyde 
Park ? " now discovered, for the first time, that the 
bill actually dealt with the rich as well as others; 
and, finding himself deprived of his favourite wea- 
pon, he attempted to create a prejudice against it 
for doing what he had formerly denounced it for 
omitting to do. 

Mr Roebuck — " In the first place, sir, I hope the House 
will permit me to compliment the honourable baronet on 
the approximation he has made in this bill to something 
like fairness. In all the measures he has hitherto brought 
forward, he has made one law for the poor and another for 
the rich. Let honourable members of this House and of 
the other House of Parliament remember, that if the bill 
now before us should pass into a law, they must no longer 
use their cattle on the first day of the week. They may 
bring them by the most direct road to the church door, but 
not an inch farther. I hope the House and the country will 
understand, that no man is allowed to employ any carriage 
on Sunday. Then I hope all the higher classes will under- 
stand, also, that the club-houses will be closed, &c. &c. Even 
the fair sex is to be curtailed in the enjoyment of legitimate 
amusement and healthful exercise; and your wives, your 
sisters, and your daughters, must no longer appear in Hyde 
Park on Sundays V* 

Mr Wakley — " I will take a phrenological view of this 
subject ; and I will say, that amongst the opposers of this 
measure are to be found many with the organs of venera- 
tion very well developed, but who, at the same time, possess 
those of observation and causality — suggesting to them very 


different means than those here proposed to cause the due 
observance of the Sabbath." 

Mr R Potter — " For my part, I have yet to leam 
what necessity there exists for such a bill. The Sabbath 
is already well observed in this country — ^better than in 
any other Christian state ; and for this position I have the 
authority of Dr Butler, the Bishop of Lichfield, of the 
Bishop of London, of Dr Samuel Johnson (a laugh), and 
of Mr Francis Place (loud laughter)." 

The bill was ably supported by Lord Viscount 
Sandon, who clearly showed that Mr Eoebuck's 
peculiar notions on the subject "would lead to the 
principle of there being no certain day of rest, and 
what a consolation would this be to the poor man !" 
Mr Finch took up the religious view of the question, 
and contended that every church on the face of the 
earth, except the Unitarians, had acknowledged the 
divine obligation of the Sabbath. Favourable speeches 
were delivered by Mr P. Borthwick, Mr Hardy, Major 
C. Bruce, Mr Goulbum, Mr T. Fowell Buxton, and 
Mr Brotherton. Sir Andrew, before the vote, among 
other remarks, expressed himself as follows : — 

"It is not my intention to trouble the House before calling 
for a division, for I too well know with how little chance 
of success, in the present temper and feeUng of the House, 
I should venture on that experiment ; and I am not, at the 
present moment, in that condition of health, or with that 
power of voice, in which I could hope to make myself heard 
on the other side of the House, where there seems so little 
desire to give me the benefit of an attentive audience. I say 
again, that hundreds of thousands are at present prevented, 
by the vicious habits of society, from the discharge of their 


duties to their Maker on the Lord's day, by — I will not say 
this oppressive tyranny, but by this fatal and growing injus- 
tice. In fact, the provisions of this bill will not interfere 
with any man who passes the day with common propriety. 
Year after year have I been pressing forward this measure. 
Previous to the present session, I felt it my duty to print 
and publish a letter, addressed to those who had so repeat- 
edly honoured me by theu* support, mentioning my inten- 
tion of again introducing the same measure; and thus it is, 
that, with a perfect knowledge of the whole subject, the 
petitions contain an expression of satisfaction that I was 
about to re-introduce my measure, and prayed that it might 
be considered in a committee of the whole House. I feel it 
the more imperative upon me to give this explanation, inas- 
much as it goes to prove that there is more sympathy between 
the petitioners and the humble individual who thus attempts 
to advocate their prayer, than (and I speak it with regret) 
between the petitioners and this House. I cannot accept 
the compliment paid on the other side to the greater im- 
partiality of the present bill, in comparison with my former 
bills, for it is, in fact, ike same bill. But it would appear 
that honourable members on the other side had now read it 
for the first time ; and if the question remains a few years 
longer before the House, they may at length read it so as to 
understand it There are persons in this House who, as Dr 
Johnson once observed, * bear with perfect resignation the 
misfortunes of their friends.' As they happen to be masters 
of their own time, they are exceedingly inseiisible to the 
hardships which they who are not in that fortunate position 
endure, from being compelled to devote the Sabbath to the 
service of others who are. I agree with my honourable 
friend (Mr Buxton), that very much might be gained if only 
the first clauses of the bill should be carried, which would 
suppress what is denominated Sunday trading ; but then I 


diflFer from many honourable members as to the limits of 
that trading, which, I conceive, include all men engaged in 
their ordinary occupations in the way of trade. I am very 
thankful for the indulgence with which the House ha»s 
listened to me ; and I heartily hope that they will, as*far as 
may lie within their power, generally and individually, de- 
vote themselves to securing the appropriation of the Sabbath 
for its proper and legitimate objects." 

The gallery was then cleared for a division, when 
there appeared^- 

For the second reading 110 

Against it 66 

Majority 44 * 

By virtue of this decision, the principle of the bill 
was affirmed ; namely, that it was the duty of Par- 
liament to extend to all classes the privilege of pro- 
tection in the due observance of the Lord's day. 
The announcement of the division diffiised sincere 
joy among all the friends of the Sabbath. " We 
return thanks," says the Record of June 8, *'to 
Him who nileth in the kingdom of men — ^to Him 
who is emphatically ' the Lord of the Sabbath ' 
— ^to Him who governs the unruly wills of sinful 
mortals — that it has pleased Him so to order events 
that the second reading of Sir Andrew Agnew's 
Lord's-Day Bill has passed by a majority of 110 to 
66. The House is to go into committee on the bill 
on Wednesday, the 21st of June. This is the first 
time the bill has ever passed the second reading." 

* Mirror of Parliament^ Wednesday, June 7, 1837. 


The Lord's-Day Society issued a circular, calling 
upon all the friends of the Sabbath to return thanks 
to Almighty God for this advance in the good cause. 
" Most sincerely do I congratulate you," writes Mr 
Leeke, " on the result of the second reading. Many 
prayers were offered up on Wednesday — many praises 

The following brief and hasty notes, written to Lady 
Agnew during this interesting and exciting period, 
will show with what mingled emotions of gratitude 
and humility Sir Andrew saw the temporary triumph 
of his long and arduous labours. The first is dated 
the evening before the debate : — 

" Tuesday Night, 11 o'dook, — My Dearest Madeune, 
— This being the eve of my great night, if it please God to 
make it such, and having a little cold, you see I am some- 
what earher than usual — and I must to rest ; but I cannot 
rest until I have given you mine, and asked your blessing. 
I often think of a letter of yours, which once reached me 
so seasonably, as to be providential in the anticipation of an 
hour of trial, — in which you reminded me that * strength was 
promised for the day, but not until the day/ It cheered me 
then, and it cheers me stilL" 

" Wednesday Night. 

" For second reading 110 

Against it 66 

Majority 44 

"My Deabest Madeline, — Your prayers have been 
heard, and those of many; and after a debate of nearly 
five hours, the triumphant division was as above. Thanks 
\ye to God for it! Dearest, while so favoured, I must not 
repine at your not being actually present to rejoice with 


me. I would be grateful, that there is one who in spirit 
sympathises with me, as I do with her, wholly, entirely, 
and without reserve. And, indeed, many kind friends 
have been raised up. We have had a most joyfiil tea-party 
here at a late hour, — Plumptre, Hardy, Forster, Buxton, 
A. Johnston, Balfour, and, last not least, Rochfort Clarke. 
All met with joyful hearts, and with countenances very 
unlike the ascetic aspect with which we had been largely 
accused a little before. And now, dearest (past one o'clock), 
with all gratitude, I commend you to Him who ruleth in 
the assemblies of men !" 

" Thursday Night — Our triumph last night delights our 
friends, and astonishes the nativea I am told the Standard 
of this evening calls it a defeat of the miuisters. Truly, Mr 
Spring Bice took a foolish part, not having an idea that I 
was to beat him. They have no idea of the influence we 
possess, by having a few of the best men in every constitu- 
ency cordially with us. But, while recognising the instru- 
ments, we must not forget for a moment who it is that 
worketh hitherto; and, in the course of His wise providence, 
the ebb and the flow alternate: so must we acknowledge His 
hand, whether the next movement be seemingly prosperous 
or adverse. 

" Were you at hand, I could amuse you with many a story 
about the under-working of the system, and the anxiety of 
members to keep themselves right with their constituents. 

"The conservatives support me, with very few exceptions 
— not that I have moved an inch towards them — ^they have 
come to me. But when we come to details, they will take 

Pausing at this stage^ to review the progress of 
the Sabbath cause^ the first thing that claims our 
attention is the curious change discernible in the 



tactics of the anti-sabbatarians, both within and 
without the House. Formerly, the opposition was 
marked by a profane levity of allusion to the Sab- 
bath, and aU who appeared in its defence. Sir 
Andrew frequently remarked of these daring and 
indecorous sallies, that, much as they were to be de- 
precated, nothing had contributed so much to the 
success of his exertions, as the revulsion which they 
had occasioned in the minds of all who cherished a 
respect for what was sacred in religion. A striking 
illustration of this occurred in the House one day, in 
a debate on the Sabbath clause in a railway bill, 
when, after a profuse application to its supporters 
of the terms "humbug" and "hypocrisy," an ho- 
nourable member, on rising to move against Sir 
Andrew, was so shocked by the profane tone of some 
of his associates, that, turning round on them, he 
declared, that " if any thing could have induced him 
to support the clause, it would be the observations 
of the honourable gentlemen he alluded to." * 
It would be unjust to omit, that, during this ses- 

* " Come here," said an M.P. of rather a gross cast, and formerly 
disposed to scoff at religion, beckoning to Sir Andrew in the House^— 
*^ Come here ; I want to tell you something. I made a trip to Windsor 
yesterday (Sunday) with my wife and family. The early part of the 
day being spent in seeing every thing, we dined at the inn in the after- 
noon. After dinner, I asked the waiter if he had been at church. He 
sud he had not. I asked him what church he generally attended. He 
said, ' I never was at church since I came here. We have visitors every 
Sunday to wait upon from morning to night, and it is impossible to get 
out at all.' It seemed so hard, and I never thought such a thing pos- 
sible ; so I wished to tell you of it, as the information might be valuable 
to you/' 


slon, Sir Andrew found friends within the House 
who holdly protested against the treatment he re- 
ceived from some of his opponents. Among these, 
we may make honourable mention of Mr Arthur 
Trevor (now Viscount Dungannon), who said : — 

"The honourable baronet certainly goes farther than I 
can concur with Hitn ; but I would not, on that account, treat 
him with ridicule and insult, as, I am sorry to say, has been 
done by honourable gentlemen opposite." 

(Honourable members on the ministerial benches, "Oh I 

Mr A Trevor — " I am not to be thus deterred from 
speaking my sentimenta I, for one, should be extremely 
sorry to record my vote with those of honourable gentlemen 
opposite, by whom my honoiuable friend has been treated 
very unfairly; and, if the word were not unparUamentary, I 
would add, indecorously"* 

The effect of these unseemly exhibitions had been 
much more decided on the simple minds of many 
rehgious people, who were too much scandalized at 
what sounded so like " the voice of blasphemy," to 
listen with patience to any arguments propounded 
by such men against Sabbath legislation. But a 
change had more lately taken place. The Voluntary 
controversy had now begun to rage, and Sir Andrew 
soon experienced a sensible diminution in the sup* 
port which he had at first received fi'om the English 
and Scottish dissenters. The leaders in this move- 
ment seem to have discovered, in every attempt at 
human legislation based or bearing upon religion, 
something practically inconsistent with their favou- 

* Mirror ofParliamenty May 23, 1837. 


rite hypothesis ; and, for the first time in the history 
of our country, religious men were found ranked with 
the infidel and the scoffer in deprecating, though on 
very different grounds, all laws in favour of Sabbath 
observance. With the exception of the Methodists 
in England and the primitive sections of Presbyte- 
rians in Scotland, the dissenters, and more especially 
the dissenting ministers, began to betray coldness 
or aversion to all legislative action on the subject. 
Backed by such allies, the enemies of the Sabbath 
found another point rf' appui, less obnoxious to the 
pious mind ; contending, that being a Christian in- 
stitute, it admitted no compulsion and required no 
protection, and that its observance could not be pro- 
moted by an Act of Parliament. 

At the same time, the personal obloquy directed 
against Sir Andrew assumed a different form. Con- 
scious of having overshot the mark, by pointing their 
shafts at the piety of the man, they now aimed only 
at exposing his inconsistency. In his last journey to 
attend his duty in Parliament, Sir Andrew, accom- 
panied by one of his sons who was going to school, 
arrived on Saturday, a few minutes past twelve at 
night, at the inn where he intended to remain the 
following Sabbath. On entering the inn, he was 
overheard by his fellow-traveller. Major Beauclerk, 
to order some refreshment for himself and his boy. 
" Ha ! Sir Andrew," cried the Major, pulling out his 
watch, " it will be Sunday morning before you get 
your chops, and I shall take care to mention the fact 
in St Stephen's ! " And he was as good as his word. 



The records of the British Parliament contain the 
following important entry : — 

" Major Beauclerk — I will mention an anecdote, to show 
the impossibility of such legislation. I came in a stage-coach 
from Manchester with the honourable baronet (Sir A. Agnew). 
It was on Satiurday, and the honoinable baronet slept at Lich- 
field that night; for I must do him the justice to say, he had 
only taken his place so far. But when we stopped at the 
inn, the honourable baronet ordered a mutton-chop, and I 
told him I should have a laugh against him one day in the 
House, for, on looking at my watch, it was near one o'clock 
on Sunday morning. (A laugh)"* 

The only reply which Sir Andrew made to this 
sally, was to profess, with his wonted good temper, 
that he would take care never to run it so late upon 
Saturday night, as, by any possibility, to give un- 
necessary work on the morning of that day. An- 
other member announced, with triumph, that Sir 
Andrew had been seen walking in the Park, with his 
family, on Sabbath. The triumph, in this case, was 
short-lived, for the explanation was, that Sir Andrew 
lived at the time in St James' Park with his family, 
and they had to walk twice every Lord's day through 
the Park to the church which they attended. There 
is even reason to think, that, to procure this species 
of small shot, means were taken to ascertain the 
exact details of the baronet's household economy. 
In the last debate on his bill, Mr Roebuck, after 
comparing Sir Ajidrew to " the African monk, who 
stood upon the top of a pillar for the rest of his 
life, to please Almighty God," and remarking that, 

• Mirror o/ParliamerUj June 7, 1837. 


after all^ the cessation from all work on Sunday was 
only matter of degree, since nobody could possibly 
get on without giving some work to be done on that 
day, produced the following : — 

" Does the honourable baronet restrict himself one jot in 
that which relates to his personal comfort ? Will his servant 
be restrained from brushing his master's coat or boots? And 
although the honourable baronet may content himself with 
a cold dinner on Sunday, I dare say it will be a cold dinner 
vnth hot potatoes, (A laugh.)"* 

In whatever spirit the taunt was thrown out, it 
was received in the best possible mood. So ready 
was Sir Andrew to receive an admonition on this 
point, even from an enemy, that, from that day to 
the day of his death, he never again ate a hot 
potatoe on Sunday, but substituted bread and but- 
ter; and would often state his obligation to the 
speaker mentioned above, for having led him to 
adopt the practice, which, he declared, ''made an 
excellent variety." He was fond, when alluding to 
the habits which he had been led to adopt for him- 
self and his household, of comparing himself to *' a 
fugleman," who, during the field exercise, must not 
only exhibit, but even exaggerate, in his own person, 
the requisite movements, so that those at a distance 
might the more easily catch them up. Not that he 
thought it possible to be too closely conformed to 
the divine law, but he strongly felt that, since he 
had been placed, by the providence of God, in such 
a position that people looked to him so narrowly, 

* Mirror of Parliament , June 7, 1837. 


and seemed to ask of him how they should regu- 
late the details of domestic life on that holy day, 
he must not mislead them, but rather endeavour to 
fix attention on the commandment, by the strictest 
possible observance of it in small things as well as 
in great. Nothing, therefore, gave him more un- 
feigned regret, than when, through inadvertence, he 
gave the slightest occasion for any to charge him 
with shortcomings in the discharge of his duty. 

The following incident, though it happened some 
time before this, may be here mentioned, to show 
how much he required to be on his guard against 
such misconstructions. Having been detained in 
London beyond his expectation, by having to pre- 
side at a public meeting, and being anxious to reach 
home, he was once beguiled into taking his passage 
to Glasgow in a steamer that started on the Satur- 
day. Not having had his attention, as yet, sufficiently 
drawn to the subject, he had now an opportunity of 
witnessing with his own eyes the evils of a scheme 
by which, at the expense of depriving others of their 
Sabbath, and on pretence of starting and landing on 
a week-day, so many devote to travelling the day 
which they cannot employ in traffic. He was shocked 
to find that it was late on Saturday before the steamer 
began her voyage, and that, having gone down the 
river, she came to anchor for the night, and thus, in 
fact, started upon the Sabbath morning. Deeply 
did he regret the step he had so unwittingly taken ; 
but ere he reached Galloway, the news had got be- 
fore him, that *' Sir Andrew had actually left London 


on a Saturday evening, so that he must have started 
almost on the Sabbath morning." He met the ac- 
cusation with his usual humility — gave his simple 
account of the circumstances that had led to it — 
frankly admitted its sinfulness — declared his resolu- 
tion never again to repeat the act — and, at the same 
time, expressed his joy to find that the standard of 
Sabbath observance had so rapidly risen with his 
friends and neighbours, who had become all of a 
sudden so quick-sighted to the smallest deviations 
from it in practice, and whose cordial support he 
trusted he should now obtain, in his efforts to secure 
the Sabbath's rest for all their fellow-men. 

But it would be endless to relate all the attacks of 
this sort to which he was perpetually subjected, by 
letter, from the press, and within the House. Anony- 
mous letters (and many most abusive ones he re- 
ceived) he made it a rule never to read ; newspaper 
attacks he never answered; but all such taunts 
seemed only to draw forth his meekness and forbear- 
ance, and his desire, if in aught he came short, to 
accept the reproof with thankfulness, and to profit 
by it. 

During the seven years that Sir Andrew had now 
served in Parliament, he had not only made great 
progress in personal conformity to " the holy com- 
mandment," but had acquired, in virtue of his con- 
sistent and conscientious fidelity, no small degree of 
influence in the House. Conceal it as they might, 
there could be no doubt in the minds of honourable 
members, that on this question, entering so deeply 


into the national faith^ Sir Andrew was the faithful 
exponent of the reUgious feeling of the community. 
He seems to have been raised up as a public witness 
for God's truth, a living remembrancer of his Sabbath, 
called to hold up the requirements of his holy law 
in an assembly which " desired not the knowledge of 
his ways." "Be not afraid of their faces,'* was a fa- 
vourite text of his, to strengthen himself against the 
looks and gestures that met him when he rose to 
plead his Master's cause. And none can have looked 
into the House of Commons, or listened to its debates, 
without being struck with wonder how, in an atmo- 
sphere so uncongenial, the courage could have been 
given him to stand forth, as he did on all occasions, 
in defence of the sacred rights of Heaven. To the 
pertinacity of his opponents, who lost no opportunity 
of expressing their contempt for the day of God, 
he opposed the pertinacity of a zeal ever ready to 
" testify" in its behalf. Let the following specimens, 
culled much at random from the recorded debates, 
suffice to illustrate what we refer to : — 

Mr Wakley — " I cannot see any reason why the British 
Museum should not be open to the public on Sundays, for 
their amusement." 

Sir Andrew Agnew — " The honourable member may see 
the strongest reason he can require in the commandment of 
God, which tells us to keep holy the Sabbath-day." 

Mr Hawes — " I propose a bill prohibiting the opening 
of victualling-houses on the morning of Sunday till one 

Sir Andrew said — " The proposition would have the effect 



of annihilating Sunday as a Sabbath from one o'clock, and 
he could not consent to such a proposition. The whole 
twenty-four hours of the Sabbath ought to be respected and 
guarded from desecration." 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr Spring Rice) said 
— " He had been in the Zoological Gardens very often 
himself on Sundays." 

Sir Andrew " considered this a desecration of the Sabbath. 
He had heard the opinion of the right honourable Chancellor 
of the Exchequer with surprise. It was one which he did 
not beUeve to be in conformity with the religious feelings of 
the great body of the peopla" 

Mr Arthur Trevor — " The honourable baronet wants to 
inflict a perfect nuisance on the country at large ; he wants 
to suppress the difiiision'of intelligence throughout the em- 
pire [by closing the post-offices on Sabbath]. I hope the 
vote of the committee will convince him and the House of 
the utter fallaciousness and contemptible absurdity of such 
proceedings as thk" 

Sir Andrew Agnew — " I never concealed my opinion, 
that there should be a general cessation of all labour on 
the Lord's day. I think that in too many of the public 
departments much is done which should not be permitted 
to desecrate the Sabbath."* 

While mainly occupied with the progress of his 
general bill. Sir Andrew was keenly alive to every 
subsidiary measure affecting the sanctity of the Sab- 
bath. In April 6, 1837, we find him zealously 
pleading agaiast the opening of the post-office on 
that day. He made it a rule, he said, never to frank 

* Mirror of Parliament^ \%Z7 , 


on Sabbath, and though his letters were almost in- 
numerable, he found time to answer them all in the 
six days. On the 13th of April, he is refused a re- 
turn of the number of persons employed in the 
post-office on Sundays, but obtains copy of corres- 
pondence on the detention of letters in London.* 
On the 6th of May, he proposes a clause to shut all 
country post-offices on Sabbath — a proposition so far 
in advance of the times, that the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer opposes it on the ground of " common 
sense," and Mr Trevor characterises it as " quite mon- 

With regard to railway desecration of the Sabbath, 
then only beginning to excite apprehension, we find 
him equally on the alert. Having procured the in- 
sertion of a clause into the Glasgow, Paisley, and 
Ayr Railway, " not authorizing travelling on Sab- 
bath," he was enabled to commence in ParUament 
the campaign which he afterwards carried on without 
its walls, against this tremendous inroad on the peace 
and purity of the Sabbath. In May, this year, he 
writes, in reference to a petition on this question 
with which he was entrusted by the General As- 
sembly of the Church of Scotland : — 

" The General Assembly have done me too much honour 
by sending a petition to my care regarding the observance 
of the Lord's day. The petition ¥dll greatly strengthen my 

* << Correspondence between the Lords of the Treasury and the Post- 
master-Qeneral, with reference to Proposal for passing Letters through 
London on the Sunday. Ordered by the House of Commons to be 
printed, 17th May 1837." 


hands. It is my desire to fight every inch of ground in the 
good old cause of the Sahbath, trusting that, with the bles- 
sing of God, my Mends in the country will continue to give 
support But they must not be discouraged by defeats. 
Humanly speaking, it is only by such means that the mo- 
rality of the country is aroused, and the national conscience 

The proposed clause re-awakened the whole con- 
troversy ; but, after a debate not distinguished by any 
new features, it was lost ; as was also a motion made 
by Sir Andrew in June 15, 1837 (the last which hQ 
made in the House), for leave to bring in a bill " to 
declare that the use of railways on the Lord's day is 
contrary to the law of Scotland." On this occasion 
it seemed to be the determination of the House to 
deny to old Scotland any law whatever, separate and 
distinct from that of the rest of the kingdom ; and Sir 
Andrew, justly astonished at this mode of reasoning, 
could only say, " that if the honourable gentlemen 
were right in the objections they had taken, then all 
the legal authorities which he had consulted must be 
wrong. Seeing, however, what was the feeling of 
the House, he would, with its leave, withdraw his 

He had now only to look forward, which he did 
with much anxiety mingled with hope, to the pro- 
gress of his bill through the committee of the House. 
But, in the inscrutable providence of God, it was 
never destined to reach that stage. In June 1837, 
William IV. died, and was succeeded on the throne 

* To tht' Kev. Dr Macfarlane, Renfrew. 


by her present Majesty, Queen Victoria. This led 
to a dissolution of Parliament and a new election. 
Sir Andrew failed in securing his return to Parlia- 
ment ; and none having succeeded to his mission, 
possessed of sufficient courage or perseverance to 
prosecute the measure, his bold and unflinching 
Bill, on which so much labour had been expended, 
and which had successfully buffeted the storms and 
breakers of five sessions, was left like a stranded ves- 
sel high and dry on the beach, where it may be con- 
sidered as still lying — a monument, at once, of the 
impulsive zeal of its author, and of the receding tide 
of a nation's piety. 




Sm Andrew had now served seven years in Parlia^ 
ment; and, all things considered, the wonder is, that 
he should, during that time, have so often come off 
successful in his contests for the representation of 
Wigtounshire. His moderate sentiments were not 
suited to please either of the two great contending 
parties, and his independent position, leading him to 
side with either as his judgment dictated, exposed 
him to censure from both. His private conduct cor- 
responded too straitly with his public professions to 
gain him extensive popularity; for he courted no 
man, rich or poor — promised no favours — ^held out 
no alluring hopes; he simply declared his willingness 
to make known aU just claims and expectations, and 
to give them all due attention; but farther than this 
he would not go. To ask favours would be to sur- 
render his independence ; and, much as he valued his 
seat in Parhament, he would often say, he valued his 


independence more, and would never enter the House 
of Commons fettered by pledges or engagements of 
any kind. This was not the road to popularity; and 
yet, so long as his services were required in the 
sphere of a Christian senator, his seat was, by one 
means or another, providentially secured to him. 
Now, however, when he again presented himself to 
his constituents, after the death of WiUiam IV., re- 
newing his former professions,* he was unexpectedly 
met by a combination of opposing forces, before 
which he found it expedient to yield. On the one 
hand, the whig party, dissatisfied with several of his 
votes as not going far enough in the direction of re- 
form — ^while they '* expressed their highest respect 
and esteem for the private worth and estimable qua- 
Uties of Sir Andrew Agnew" — accused him, very 
gratuitously, of first " having urged his claims to the 
representation of this county on account of the share 
he took in the passing of the Reform Bill, and some 
other liberal measures, and thereby secured his seat 
in ParUament," and then of having " shrunk from the 
practical application of the principles he had advo- 

* These, as propounded in his <' Address to the Independent Electors 
of the County of Wigtoun," dated 6th July 1837, were, " to support the 
inte^ty of the three Estates of Parliament, the stability and efficiency 
of the Church, the reform of all abuses both in Church and State, 
carefully to consider every measure, by whomsoever brought forward, 
for that purpose, not being carried away by plausible appearances, but 
labouring to ascertain whether each measure were right in principle ; 
and, if right in principle, still farther to consider whether the provisions 
were truly such as were calculated to work out that principle to the best 
effect, for establishing the security of our institutions, our trade, and our 
agricultural prosperity/' 


cated."* They, therefore, resolved on supporting 
Alexander Murray, Esq. of Broughton, as one more 
likely to represent their views. The tories, on the 
other hand, equally disappointed at finding Sir- An- 
drew too much of a reformer for them, had fixed 
their eyes on his former opponent, James Blair, Esq. 
of Penningham, whose main recommendation was, 
that he was more decidedly conservative, and fol- 
lowed more faithfully in the wake of their party. 
Under these circumstances, convinced that, by per- 
severing, he would only secure the defeat of himself 
and of Mr Blair, whose views on most subjects coin- 
cided with his own, Sir Andrew felt it his duty to 
give way to his more favoured rival, and withdraw 
from the contest for the county; and thus, the li- 
beral party, who had abandoned him as a too cau- 
tious reformer, found themselves saddled with an 
out-and-out conservative. At the same time, com- 
plying with the desire of his friends, though against 
his own judgment. Sir Andrew offered himself to the 
burghs of Wigtoun. The time and circumstances 
were both unfavourable; and he found, when too 
late, that, trusting too far to fair promises, he had 
lost, for the present, all hopes of a seat in Parliament. 
With regard to the purity of Sir Andrew's motives, 
in the steps which led to this unfortimate issue, there 
can be but one opinion. He may be said, indeed, to 
have sacrificed his political prospects to his sincere 
zeal for the Protestant institutions of his country. 

* Resolutions at a Meeting of the Electors of the County of Wig- 
toun, held at Glenluce, 17th July 1837. 


On retiring from the contest, he said truly, that the 
only reason why a ministerial candidate had been 
brought forward to oppose him was, *' that he had 
found it his duty to oppose such measures, or parts of 
measures, of his late Majesty's ministers, as, under the 
attractive name of reform in church and state, con- 
tained matter subversive of the principle of Scriptural 
Protestantism upon which our constitution is based." * 
The following extracts, from a newspaper of the 
day, may give some idea of the state of feeling in the 
county at this exciting period: — 

" In Wigtounshire, the contest, in county and burghs, is 
keener by far than it ever was in our day. As regards Sir 
Andrew Agnew, our impression is, that he might say to not 
a few — 

' Deserted at my utmost need 
By those my former bounty fed;* 

and by and by we doubt not there will be queer reveal- 
ments. Drawing him from the county at the eleventh hour, 
and starting him for the burghs, merely showed a wish to 
clear the way for Mr Blair ; and furnishes another instance 
of those unprincipled coalitions which very generally defeat 
their own purpose." 

" Wigtoun Burgh Election — July 29, 1837. — The nomi- 
nation for this district of burghs took place at Wigtoun on 
Wednesday last, amidst an immense concourse of people, 
drawn together from the excitement of the unexpected 
contest The respective candidates were attended to the 
hustings by their friends, and a number of county gentle- 
men appeared among the supporters of Sir Andrew Agnew. 
After the writ had been read. Lieutenant Thomas Taylor 
of Stranraer proposed Mr M*Taggart of Ardwell, the late 

* Address to the Electors of the County of Wigtoun. 



member. The nomination was hailed by the universal ap- 
plause of the liberals. Colonel M'Douall of Stranraer 
nominated Sir Andrew Agnew, and was seconded by Dr 
Dalzell of Wigtoun. It was understood that Stair Stewart, 
Esq. of Physgill, would have taken the duty upon him, but 
that gentleman did not arrive in tima The two candidates 
briefly addressed the meeting; and, on a show of hands being 
taken, it was declared to be in favour of Mr M*Taggart A 
poU was in consequence demanded for Sir Andrew Agnew, 
and Friday appointed for the trial of strength. 

" The most intense anxiety prevailed in the interval be- 
tween the nomination and the polling; and on Friday the 
favourable result to the reform cause was received witli 
gratulation by every liberal in the district 


For Sir Andrew Agnew 123 

For Mr MTaggart 167 

Majority for Mr MTaggart 34 

The political career of the Knight of Lochnaw is thus closed 
— ^aye, closed for ever!"* 

It cannot be denied that the closing of Sir An- 
drew's parliamentary career, thus so truly though 
heartlessly predicted, was to himself, as well as his 
numerous friends, in the first instance at least, a 
severe and deeply felt disappointment. Considering 
the great work on which he had embarked, it could 
not be otherwise. Just as success had dawned on his 
efibrts in ParUament, as if to urge and bear him on- 
ward, the cause is taken from his hands and given 
to others! His favourite bill had reached that stage 
to which he had so fondly and anxiously looked for- 
ward, when, the principle having been carried, he had 

* Dumfries Courier, July 25 and 29, 1837. 


only to watch over its application to details; and now, 
at such a critical period, to be snatched away, by a 
kind of a political death, from the child of his hopes, 
his pains, and his prayers, was a trial to his faith and 
his feeUngs, the keenness of which few besides himself 
could appreciate. But the disappointment was borne 
with his usual equanimity. Discerning in it a higher 
hand than that of man, he bowed to the divine will, 
not simply with submission, but with entire acquies- 
cence, striving to trace the designs of God in the ar- 
rangement, and still following, with prayerful anxiety, 
the cause dearest to his heart. To such as blamed 
him with poUtical inconsistency, he could vindicate 
himself with becoming spirit ; — to those who sympa- 
thised with him in his holy enterprise, he pours out 
the natural regrets of a chastened heart. 


** LocHiTAW Castlb, Ut SepUmher 1837. 

" Dear Sir John, — I was absent from home visiting my 
son in Ireland, when your letter of the 14th August arrived 
here. I beg to thank you for it ; but I should not have 
troubled you again at this moment, except for the wish to 
say — in reference to your remarks on my former support of 
the Reform Bill, and my strenuous opposition to such parts 
of the measures of his late Majesty's government as had, in 
my humble judgment, a tendency to imdermine the basis of 
our institutions, that is, our Scriptural Protestantism — that 
my support of the one, and my opposition to the other, was, 
to my understanding, perfectly consistent. I was aware that 
you did not agree with me in this opinion, and therefore I 
did not expect your support at the late election ; and my 
letter addressed to you was rather intended as a mark of my 


respect, which I endeavoured therein to express, and as such, 
I am sure you have the goodness to accept it. 

" A general adherence to any party in the state, I never 
gave; but, on the contrary, I always declared that an inde- 
pendent seat alone I should either value or accept Pardon 
me for obtruding this unnecessary reply, now that I have 
retired to the obscurity of private life. — I have the honour 
to be, dear Sir John, yours, veiy faithftdly, 

" Andrew Aqnew." 


** LocBNAW Castlb, Juljf 31, 1837. 

" My Dear Sir, — My race is run. I had started for this 
county, and was opposed by a ministerial candidate. But 
thereafter a conservative, powerfully supported, came into 
the field. I felt it a duty to withdraw, and offer my sup- 
port to the latter, with the hope of securing the defeat of 
the whig-radicaL Whether I judged* wisely, the present 
week will determine. For myself, I contested our boroughs, 
and on Friday I was defeated by a majority of 34. After 
seven years of parliamentary labour, my military service is 
over — ^my sword become a ploughshare! Doubtless *rest' 
is wisely ordered ; but there are many friends in the United 
Kingdom with whom, in mind, I have of late years been in 
constant contact. This total separation is somewhat abrupt ; 
nor can I yet imagine the extent of the privation. But 
many duties, domestic and provincial, surround me; and I 
believe, in the simplicity of sincerity, that ' it is the Lord ; 
let Him do what seemeth to Him good!'" 

On hearing the news of Sir Andrew's defeat, his 
friend, Mr Eoclifort Clarke, writes as follows: — 

*' Cbestbrton Lodge, Augutt 3, 1837. 

" My Dear Sir Andrew Agnew, — We received what 
was to us the very painful intelligence of the loss of your 
election, when we were in the midst of our packing and pre- 


paring for our annual remove. In addition to all I feel on 
public grounds, I assure you both my dear wife and myself 
feel very deeply the loss to our family circle ;* and the many, 
many associations, connected with the recollection of our 
years of warfare under the only one Captain of our salva- 
tion, so fill my mind, as to render it diflScult to look steadily 
forward to any future plan of operations. All this while our 
wise, and merciftd, and loving Father remains the same; 
like Jonah, we lament the perishing of our gourd, but He 
remains the same. But still I cannot bring my mind to 
look forward, or if I look forward, I see nothing but a blank 
as regards that field in which I followed you as a labom-er. 
Lady Agnew, no doubt, felt sadly disappointed, and the 

children were as sorry as they could be. B took it to 

heart, as you may suppose, and cried every now and then 
about it As for me, I was obliged to go about my business ; 
but I am not satisfied with the tories of Wigtounshire. 
Surely we have cause to bless the name of that Lord who 
led us to work, while it was day, such work as ours may he. 
Blessed be His name that He led us away always from lis- 
tening to those who would have had us waste the last years 
in partial measurea That gracious God has pledged His 
word, that what we have sowed we shall also reap. Rest 
assured, that you shall see the harvest by and by. But per- 
haps you are not disposed to sit still, but rather to in- 
quire of the Lord, * What wilt thou have me to do ?' He 
has turned us into another field, and we cannot be very well- 
disposed servants, if we can only work in the field of our 

* Sir Andrew, when in London, in the absence of his own family, 
was much with that of Mr Rochfort Clarke. Here he found a delight- 
ful home and congenial society. He took a lively interest in every 
member of the household; and all of them, from the highest to the 
lowest, retain the most affectionate remembrances of the sing^tlarly kind, 
courteous, and agreeable guest, who seemed " so naturally to care for 
their state.** 


own choosing. Let us pray to Him day and night that He 
will show us how best to serve Him, and glorify His name 
in the station into which He has now called ua" 

To this consoling letter. Sir Andrew replies : — 

*< 28^ Noeember 1837. 

" My Dear Friend, — Many thanks for your most inte- 
resting letter of the 2 2d, and for your very gratifying ex- 
pressions of Christian affection, to which I respond in all 
cordiality, — looking back with much thankfulness to the 
days in which we were privileged to co-operate delightedly 
in the path of the Lord's commandments, when we were 
driven by experience to the conclusion, that to *walk at 
liberty' we must * seek His precepts.' I might be tempted 
to repine at our being laid aside, did I not see (through a 
glass darkly) the wisdom of such an arrangement Had we 
been in the front rank, we must have made our stand on 
the precise ground to which, technically, we had attained 
last session; and we must have called upon the House to go 
forward. But forward they would not, and could not go; 
for it is obvious that they were not prepared. The wonder 
was, that they had advanced so fast as they did. It is 
further obvious, that they are now to have their minds ex- 
ercised by a different discipline, and by other leaders, to 
whom we can confidently bid God speed ! And it is well that 
others are appointed to the work, rather than that we, by 
seeming to shift our ground, should l)ewilder the minds of 
our friends. 

" There is nothing to prevent our doing our work, by 
recalling the public mind to the fact, that our general prin- 
ciple was carried by the second reading, and by calling upon 
all to petition as formerly, * that all their fellow-subjects may 
have the opportunity of observing the Lord s day.' For, as 
I understand it, four bills will he moved for, so framed as 
to comprehend the whole question, and thus throwing upon 


the House the responsibility of rejecting one or more parts 
of the whole; and thus in fact anticipating, at the first stage, 
what they would inevitably do in committee. Not only 
may this course keep us in the right, who are out of the 
House, but our friends in the House also. 

" Pray, consult on this view with that man of God, 
Plumptre, who has it in his heart to do His will. In con- 
sistency with his former support of my bill, I do not see how 
he can stand his ground (against the charge of inconsistency, 
which the infidels will pour in upon him), until he has given 
them the opportunity of considering the whole, by bringing 
the whole question forward, whether in one bill, or in four 
or more bills. My chief anxiety at this moment is, that the 
question may be brought before the House in such a shape, 
that we may petition in the same terms as in former years." 

If any thing were wanting to prove the single- 
hearted and disinterested zeal of Sir Andrew^ in his 
advocacy of the Sabbath, this letter alone would suf- 
fice to remove every suspicion. There is something 
of the moral sublime in the attitude which he now 
assumed. Instead of ceasing to take an interest in 
the question, when he could no longer act as its 
recognised leader in Parliament, he manifests the 
same anxiety to maintain it in all its integrity, and 
loses sight of his own disappointment in his confi- 
dence that all would work together for the final tri- 
umph of the sacred cause. None of his opponents, 
it appears, could be more sensible than Sir Andrew 
himself of the hopelessness of immediate success in his 
Sabbath legislation ; and yet he did not consider this 
5is an intimation that it was no longer his duty to 
persevere, nor did he sustain it as an excuse for aban- 


doning his high position. And what could be finer 
than the spirit displayed in the policy he recom- 
mends? JSTo time is lost in vain repinings — no dispo- 
sition shown to accept of the incense offered to vanity 
by fond friends, lamenting the hopes blighted by the 
loss of a representative with whom alone they could 
thoroughly sympathise and cordially co-operate. On 
the contrary, he urges them to transfer to others 
the confidence which they had so willingly reposed in 
himself. Like Paul, he could say, " I will very gladly 
spend and be spent for you, though the more abun- 
dantly I love you, the less I be loved."* This ap- 
pears from the whole tenor of his correspondence at 
this period. Mr Plumptre having introduced a bill, 
in February 1838, *'to prevent Sunday trading," he 
writes as follows :-^ 


« AprU 20, 1838. 

My Dear Sir, — I was a good deal startled on reading 
in your letter, of your not sending petitions from Derby- 
shire, in support of Mr Plumptre's Lord's-day biQ. Is this 
right ? Should not that first of good men be well sup- 
ported? Although he does not personate our principle, 
by asking all which that principle, in being carried out 
into practice, may require, yet we know that however 
limited liis demands in the bill now before Parliament may 
be, the battle will be fought by him on Christian grouDd. 
Doubtless, you have your own consistency to take care of; 
for * if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who (thereafter) 
will prepare himself to the battle ?' But cannot you so frame 
a petition as to express the extent, and at the same time 

* 2 Cor. xii. 15. 

MR plumptre's bill. 329 

record your own views, by enumerating the amendments 
which you desire to see introduced in committee ? First, 
our friends in the House of Commons should have reiterated 
again and again the fact, that after the House had ' deliber- 
ated' for five years, we DID at last carry our principle, and 
from that point should they have started. Secondly, it was 
our constant duty to extend the term * trading,' and care 
should be taken not to narrow that term. Now all this 
might be expressed in your petitions, — enlightening the 
House, while protesting that any thing short of perfection 
would be deemed but an instalment Somehow or other, 
our excellent friend should be supported, for we owe him a 
large debt of gratitude for past services, and but for him the 
question would now be asleep: at least, I know not who else 
would have done even as much as he is doing."* 

The regrets occasioned by the loss of Sir Andrew's 
seat in Parliament were not confined to the bosoms 
of Lis personal friends. The disappointment was 

* The fate of Mr Plumptre's bill did not differ materially from that 
of the other bills on this subject brought before Parliament. Li March 
1838, it arrived at a second reading; but on being sent down to com- 
mittee, it met with so much opposition, that, on the recommendation of 
Sir Robert Peel, it was re-committed, with the view of making certain 
amendments on it, to render it less objectionable. On the 20th of June, 
however, when again submitted to the committee, the opposition was so 
virulent and pertinacious, that Mr Plumptre consented to its postpone- 
ment sine die. On this occasion, Sir T. Freemantle observed, ** That 
there was a strange inconsistency in the conduct of those honourable 
members who opposed this bill. When Sir A. Agnew brought in his 
bill, they said that if a measure was brought forward for the purpose of 
suppressing Sunday trading, and without any vexatious restrictions, they 
would support such a measure ; and now that a bill was introduced, 
carrying into effect their views, they turned round upon the honourable 
member, and insisted on throwing out his bill, or on inserting words 
which would prevent it from passing into a law." — Record^ June 21, 


deeply felt by that wide-spread circle which his zeal 
in the Sabbath cause had gathered around him. 
From all parts of the country, from Scottish synods 
and English associations, wherever the sound re- 
ligious feeling of the people could find a vent, ex- 
pressions of regret for the want of such a conscientious 
and unflinching standard-bearer in the House of 
Commons, mingled with acknowledgments of his past 
services, poured in upon him. Among these we may 
particularly notice the Lord's-Day Society of London, 
the committee of which not only passed resolutions, 
'* acknowledging the valuable exertions made by Sir 
Andrew," which they believed had been blessed " as 
the means of awakening in Parliament, and through- 
out -the kingdom, an attention to the subject which 
promises, under the divine blessing, to issue in such 
a recognition of the Sabbath as should ever distin- 
guish a Christian nation," and expressing their regret 
at his having been for the present debarred from con- 
tinuing his efforts in Parliament; but they addressed 
a letter to Sir Andrew embodying these feelings, 
which was published in the newspapers. In this let- 
ter they explain, at considerable length, the grounds 
on which they consider themselves, with the public 
at large, deeply indebted to him ; and congratulate 
him on the important results of his labours, of his 
courage, of his faith, and of his patience, — results, 
they say, " more important in our estimation than 
if your first attempt had succeeded with the legis- 

To tliis gratifying testimonial Sir Andrew replied 


in a corresponding spirit^ disclaiming, with his wonted 
modesty, all personal credit for the results they had 
referred to. " I could wish/' he says, " that I had 
it in my power to render suitable thanks to all the 
varied classes of society to whom I am so deeply in- 
debted ; but to none am I bound moke emphatically 
to make my acknowledgment for prompt,* efficient, 
unwearied, well-sustained and cordial co-operation, 
than to your society." After giving a succinct his- 
tory of the steps which he had been led to take in 
the cause of the Sabbath, he thus concludes this in- 
teresting communication : — 

" I am laid aside ; but, in my retirement, your letter has 
awakened many grateful recollections of our former co-ope- 
ration as instruments in this great work ; and the best return 
which, in gratitude to Almighty God, I can make, is ardently 
to pray to Him that you may be enabled to persevere in the 
course in which you have hitherto been sustained. As you 
have acknowledged the Lord God in all your ways, He will 
direct your paths in His own way — raising up suitable in- 
struments for His work, both in and out of Parliament Nor 
^vdll you be discouraged, should some seeming diflSculties 
arise, knowing that when a few short years shall have passed 
away, that alone will be worthy of remembrance which is in 
perfect accordance with the divine commandment, which is 
exceeding broad." 

Released from his parliamentary labours. Sir An- 
drew now found himself at leisure to devote himself 
to those "many duties, domestic and provincial," 
which, he says, surrounded him. In the discharge 
of his paternal duties, few fathers could be more 


affectionate^ and few more exemplary. We have 
already seen the impression produced upon stran- 
gers, who witnessed with delight his domestic cha- 
racter. In every relation of life, the loveliness of 
Sir Andrew's character shone very conspicuous. But 
the image of him, ahout this period, treasured up 
in the recollections of his friends with the richest 
halo surrounding it, is that of the father, seated 
on Sabbath evening, with his bright-haired and 
beautifiil children clustering around him, and clam- 
bering upon him, while he was reading to them the 
" Pilgrim's Progress.'' A better attestation still is 
to be found in the lively reminiscences of his sur- 
viving children, who vie with each other in testify- 
ing the unmingled respect, gratitude, and affection, 
with which they cherish the memory of the most con- 
scientious, and at the same time the most indulgent 
of parents. One or two of these filial tributes we 
may take the Uberty of presenting to our readers : — 

" I cannot/' says one of them, " give any recollections of 
my dear father which are not familiar to all of us. I think 
he always acted towards his children on the maxim, ' Ex- 
ample is better than precept ;' for he seldom gave us great 
lectures, and we learned, I think, to do right by imitating 
his example more than by listening to wise admonitions. 
He always urged upon us, * Whatever you do, do it welL j 

Even the smallest matters, if they were worth doing at all, 
were worthy of being done well/ This applied to all the 
details of business and of life, great or small It applied to 
the folding of a letter or to the adorning of the person. 
' Always be doing something,' was a precept which we often 
re(iuired to be reminded of. * If you cannot always be busy. 


at least you need never be idle. Provide yoiu"self with a 
variety of occupations ; have several books in hand ; let 
minor matters fill up the intervals between the more im- 

" My father had very high ideas of family religion. He 
never was so angry with me as when I was late for prayers 
in the morning. He very often remarked upon God re- 
vealing himself, and bestowing the blessings of his salvation 
upon families ; and alluded to Abraham, that what he was 
most highly commended for was, that ' he would command 
his children and his household to walk in the fear of the 

" He never approved of indulging in any thing that hurt the 
feelings of others, or any amusement that was obtained at 
the expense of another's feelings. In discussion, he avoided 
all expressions or hard words that might be offensive to his 
opponent, knowing that, by wilfully offending the feeUngs 
of an adversary, you prejudice him against you. He turns 
away, saying, 'That is an abusive fellow;' and he will not 
give a candid attention to your statements and arguments. 
Though my father delighted in humour, he did not like any 
thing ill-natured. He characterised Irish humour as the play- 
ing with ideas ; English, as playing with words ; Scotch, as 
playing with the feelings. I think he preferred and de- 
lighted most in Irish humour, as being most genuine. The 
Scotch humour he disliked, when it became, as sometimes 
it did, a heartless trifling with the feelings of others. 

" My father felt very strongly that it was the duty of the 
Cliurch and of individual Christians, to * maintain a testi- 
mony ;' and that, therefore, in their contendings for what 
was true and right, their duty was quite independent of the 
prospect of success. It was a favourite maxim with him, 
— * Duty is ours ; the event is God's.' " 

" A few little recollections of my beloved father," says 


another of the family, " sometimes come to mind, and are 
precious to me, though perhaps to others they may seem 
trifling. One thing I particularly remember is, the con- 
sideration he had for the feelings of others. He never en- 
joyed a joke that wounded or played with the feelings of 
any present. One of his favourite and oft-repeated texts 
was, * Be pitiful, be courteous.' Also, he very much obieoted 
to taking use ^fScriptux. language in j J I have hea«l 
him check those that did it, saying, it was * jesting that was 
not convenient' 

'^ Seldom a Sabbath comes roimd that I do not think of 
him, and of how anxious he was that it should be kept holy, 
and that his man-servant and maid-servant should rest as 
well as himself, according to the commandment This ap- 
peared in the rules he made that no work should be done 
that could be accomplished the day before, or deferred till 
the Monday following. For instance, all cooking was to be 
done on Saturday, except the health of any of the party re- 
quired something warm ; or, as he used to say, ' Bake that 
ye will bake to-day, and seethe that ye will seethe ;' and he 
himself, as long as I can remember, never took any thing 
that had been cooked on the Sabbath. The servants were 
not permitted to wait at table; but, every thing being put 
down at once, as at luncheon, each one could wait on them- 
selves, or were attended to by the yoimger members of the 
family. All washing and cleaning of dishes and plate, he 
desired should be deferred, as far as possible, till Monday. 
Shoes and clothes were always brushed on Saturday evening ; 
and, to save the housemaid work, we always in winter made 
the dining-room the sitting-room/ This room was prepared 
on Saturday evening, and the fire laid ready to Ught In 
the country it was necessary to take out the carriage, as 
some of the family could not walk so far as the church; but 
he himself never went in it, and the wettest day walked the 


two miles and l)ack. He was very particular that the car- 
riage should start in time to let the coachman in for the 
beginning of the service ; and he would not suflfer him to 
leave church till after the blessing was pronounced, as he 
said the service was as much for one class as another. The 
harness and carriage were not cleaned till the day following. 
'* But he did not only attend to outward observances. He 
was as desirous that he and all should be in a frame of mind 
suitable to the Sabbath. To help to promote this, and to 
keep the conversation from wandering to worldly subjects, 
he used to have a book open beside him on the breakfast- 
table, and read portions from time to time, or handed it to 
the one first done. For a time he read, every morning at 
breakfast, a little book called ' Daily Meditations ;' and my 
sister and I were expected to look over it beforehand, so 
that, when he came to a quotation from Scripture, we might 
be able to tell him the chapter and verse. I remember also 
that he did not like us hurriedly to engage in the exercises 
of family worship, or to go on with our work till the last 
moment after the prayer-bell had rung; but would kindly 
remind us to lay aside whatever we were engaged with." 

While thus tenderly conscientious in regard to 
religious duties, Sir Andrew was far from laying 
down any rigid rules in regard to ordinary life. 
Singularly indulgent to the young, he avoided every 
thing that might frighten them from the paths of 
righteousness and peace. On first going to London, 
kis elder boys having reached the ages of twelve 
and thirteen, he once more made, on their account, 
the experiment which he had before tried for him- 
self. He thought they would naturally wish to see 
and judge for themselves of such places of amuse- 
ment as Astley's, Sadler's Wells, and Covent Gar- 


den; and he once accompanied them to the latter 
theatre. One visit was, however, sufficient. He foimd, 
as an eminent Christian once said, that " either he 
was changed, or all the world was changed." Every 
thing appeared in a new light to him, and he re- 
marked, " I do not understand how it was, that when 
I formerly attended such things, they did not strike 
me in the same way. I must surely have been more 
occupied with the party that I went with than with 
the proceedings on the stage ; for do you know that 
actually the main thing in the play I witnessed with 
my boys was just a low piece of intrigue, most re- 
volting to good taste ; and the attempt at conceal- 
ment of vice, with the discovery made at last, con- 
stituted the whole interest of the piece ; while any 
allusion to morality or better feelings seemed so out 
of place as only to make it worse. Of the characters 
that frequent such places," he continued, '^I was 
aware, and felt it to be an argument against them ; 
but I had certainly forgot the depraved and revolting 
nature of the performances themselves. I shall never 
go again myself, and far less take my children to such 

Thus did Sir Andrew bring up his family ; main- 
taining the most perfect order, and "having his 
children in subjection with all gravity," and yet all 
with so much tenderness, and gentleness, and play- 
fulness in his manner, that the reins of authority 
were hardly felt, and restraint was converted into 
recreation. Combined with this, there was a re- 
markable sagacity and knowledge of human nature. 


which enabled him to give the most useful advice to 
all around him, to regulate them in their intercourse 
with the world. Of this the following, suggested by a 
pamphlet on his own side of the question, may serve 
as a specimen : — 

" I remember my father remarking to me," says one of 
his sons, " that * it was peculiarly oflFensive to an opponent to 
quote stigmatized expressions of his own within inverted 
commas, thus fixing down upon him sentiments which he 
would be glad to forget, and making an enemy of him 
through the ordinary motive of obstinacy, dignified by the 
name of consistency/ He never quoted words within in- 
verted commas, unless they were creditable to his corre- 
spondent or adversary. He used to say, that on such topics 
as Sabbath observance, * objectors were elevated by discus- 
sion ] but that, if you entered into explanatory statements, 
though your opponent might not at the moment profess 
conviction, yet, when he might next talk on the subject 
with some one else, he might argue with him on your side, 
enlightened by your information, imconscious that it is your 
authority on which he is relying in his statements, and quite 
forgetful of his own previous ignorance. As an instance, 
he once told me, that, finding an intimate friend ill-informed 
on the church controversy, he entered into some explana- 
tions, without however convincing him. Yet, very soon 
after, he was amused to hear his friend correcting another, 
who was venting ignomnt abuse on the non-intrusion party, 
saying, * You mistake them ; that is not what they claim ; 
what they say is this' — and so gave him some of Sir 
Andrew's facts, as if they had long ago found their way 
spontaneously into his own mind." 

The following anecdote* was once told by Sir An- 

* Communicated by the Rev. Andrew Urquhart, Portpatrick. 



drew to enforce an unhesitating manliness on the part 
of Christians in stating, with courtesy but distinctly, 
the religious principles which guided their prac- 
tice : — 

"A gentleman met another one Saturday, who iavited 
him to dine with him on the day following. The answer 
was, *I cannot accept your kind invitation for to-morrow; 
for I never dine out on Sabbaths.' Some years afterwards, 
the same gentleman was travelling in a coach, and opposite 
to him sat another, intently perusing a book, who no sooner 
looked up than he recognised him, and, after the oixiinaiy 
salutation, said, * This is a book which I once did not much 
value, and I am indebted to you for having turned my 
thoughts to it It is the Bible.' * Indeed ! ' said the other, 
* I do not remember.' * Most probably not,' was the reply; 
' but I once asked you to dine with me on a Sabbath, and 
I was not a little annoyed by your assigning as the reason 
for your declining, that you never dined out on Sabbaths. 
But the more I felt irritated, when the incident recurred to 
me, the more it fixed itself on my mind, till, at length, it 
led to an inquiry which, by the blessiug of God, issued in a 
blessed change.'" 

Sir Andrew's prudence and success in the manage- 
ment of his family, led his friends frequently to con- 
sult him for advice in such matters ; and the following 
letter, on account of its sound sense, as well as being 
highly characteristic of the writer,* deserves inser- 
tion : — 


** LocHWAW Castle, July 3, 1845. 

" My Dear Mark, — I am much flattered by your con- 
sulting my opinion on the education of your sons. I have 


detained your note for a day, in order to give the more wis- 
dom to my reply; and now, after mature consideration, the 
wisest thing I can say is, that a great deal might be said on 
both sides; and if I might be allowed to stop there, you 
would think me a perfect Solon. On the side of home 
education, turn to Cowper's poems, and having got his 
* Review of Schools' by heart, you may then, on the other 
side, remember, first, that he was an old bachelor; second, 
that the 'better management,' which his last line speaks 
of,* may perhaps have been brought about by the moral 
influence of his poetry, which was great in its day. 

" The amiable tractability of your own boys, which you 
describe, is a valuable element and inducement to try the 
home experiment; for all our wisest plans are at best ex- 
perimental humanly speaking; and I am not prepared to 
advise you, dogmatically, to pait with your boys. But, to 
refer to your own plan and its practicability, can you get 
such a well-educated English tutor as you describe ? If you 
can, it might be well to try the experiment for a year. I 
do not know where you can get him. For love or money, 
men cannot be found in England to supply the cravings of 
chiux^h extension ; and I know no other class but divinity 
students who are wont to take such situationa Even in 
Scotland, where tutors were abimdant, we could not obtain 
such last year, and by this difficulty were finally driven to 
sending our boys to school. But you can inquire. My 
experience with my first batch of boys extinguished my 
small-school theory; so, having last year made many in- 
quiries, and visited some, and got perplexed, I was very 
much determined in my choice by the part that my friends, 

• " Yet, backward as they are, and long have been, 
To cultivate and keep the morals clean, 
(Forgive the crime) I wbh them, I confess. 
Or better majuiged, or encouraged less." 

— CowpER*s Tirocinium ; or^ Review of SrhooU. 


Mr and Mrs W (who are most anxious alx>ut their 

children, who had inquired every where, and were ready 
and willing to go any where to live near their boys), had 

finally ventured on the School ; and Dr D , and 

all the good men of the neighbourhood, approved of it I 
have had every reason to be satisfied; and the boys are at 
this moment very well and happy, enjoying home, which 
they have learned the value of. Nothing but a few months 
at school can teach that there is nothing like homa And 
no doubt the temperament, and the temper, and the nerves, 
and the character, are aU strengthened by the collision with 
the many of the same age. Evils there may be, and must 
be every where, both in the schools, and in the hearts of 
masters and pupUs. Nobody knew this better than Cowper ; 
and the same evil heart will betimes work itself out at 
home; but this was no part of his poem to tell, or, being an 
old bachelor, he may have forgotten. It would be impos- 
sible to say whether one and the same boy would have got 
on better at home or at school, there are such diversities of 

gifts, and talents, and dispositiona When first went 

up to England, his first master assured me that he had never 
met with a boy of his age so well grounded in Latin gram- 
mar; but I have no doubt he would have been aa well 
groimded at a public school, having a 'talent' for it, as was 
shown by his tutor here having, against my wishes, kept 
him back in Greek; so that at Blackheath he had to go 
into the lowest Greek class, but very soon rose to his level. 
Excuse this paternal vanity, by way of illustration. 

" With this preface, my * deliverance' (to speak in the 
language of Dr Chalmers) is, if you can get a tutor, get him. 
If you want to know all I know about schools, come up 
here and question it out of me. But, as the judge subjoins 
his ' Note,' so do I. Note. — In seeking an English tutor, 
beware of young Rome, who goeth about every where seek- 
ing whom he may destroy. And as I cannot get over my 



old habit of enclosing Tracts for the Times, please to excuse 
the enclosed — Believe me, your very affectionate cousin, 

" Andrew Agnew." 

But it was not in Sir Andrew's nature to limit his 
exertions to ^' those of his own house." His restless 
philanthropy, ever on the outlook for a larger sphere 
of usefidness, led him to interest himself in schemes 
for supplying the spiritual destitution of his neigh- 
bourhood. He now found a more favourable op- 
portunity for carrying into effect his long-cherished 
project of providing additional church accommoda- 
tion for the inhabitants of the district. The parish 
of Leswalt, in which Lochnaw is situated, extends to 
Stranraer, being seven miles long by six in breadth ; 
and though much had been done by several deno- 
minations of dissenters to supply the deficiency, no 
suitable provision had been made in the Established 
Church for many who nominally belonged to it, and 
were entitled by law to accommodation. In 1838, 
Dr Chalmers, whose whole energies were at that 
time given to the cause of church extension, having 
one day expressed, in Sir Andrew's company, his 
desire to follow the example of Dr Duff, and visit 
the different presbyteries, with the view of exciting 
a general interest in the cause. Sir Andrew invited 
him to commence with Wigtounshire. With this 
the Doctor complied, and Sir Andrew accompanied 
him in his interesting tour. After they had parted, 
Dr Chalmers addressed a letter to him, dated Loch- 
ryan, August 31, 1838, from which we give an ex- 
tract : — 


'' Before I close, I cannot adequately express the deep 
sense I have of your great kindness and liberality to myself. 
It is a very great contribution you have made to our cause, 
that from the moment of my touching Stranraer to the mo- 
ment of my leaving it, you have franked and taken charge 
of the whole intermediate locomotion, comprising two pres- 
bjrterie& After you had done so much, I did not object to 
your settling vnth the driver at Glenluce, so as that there 
might be no exception to the munificence of such a help to 
me through so large a tract of country. But, after you had 
done so much, you should have done no more; and allow 
me to say, that it was ultra or beyond all that ought to 
have been done, that you should propose to bear any part of 
my expenses after leaving Stranraer. When Mr Symington 
told me that you insisted on settUng for the chaise-hire to 
Caimryan, I felt doubly ashamed of all your goodness to 
me, though doubly grateful for your kind feelings, both to 
myself and to the great object of church extension in Scot- 

" Will you forgive me if I intreat that you will not exceed 
in your public Uberalities; for my impression is — ^and I state 
it frankly — that your disposition is to encroach on the duty 
that a man owes to those of his own household. Do indulge 
lue in the freedom I use. You have done more for oxur cause 
by your testimony and personal countenance, than you could 
have done by any pecuniary contribution. It is to the mul- 
tiplication of subscribers, and not to the enlargement of sub- 
scriptions, that I look for the increase of our means." 

Adverting to this visit, at a meeting of the Trades- 
men's Church Extension Society, held in the Assem- 
bly Rooms, Edinburgh, 14th November 1838, Sir 
Andrew said : — 

" Being here as the guest of the tradesmen of Edinburgh, 
it may not be unacceptable if I report to them the attach- 


ment of the people to the Church of Scotland in that part 
of the country where I usually reside. In Wigtounshire, we 
had lately the honour of a visit from your much-honoured 
townsman — may I call him your fellow-workman ? (the 
honourable baronet was here interrupted by loud cheers) — 
the Rev. Dr Chalmers, whose cordial reception nothing could 
exceed during the two successive weeks in which he visited 
our two presbyteries. I had the privilege of l:)eing constantly 
present when he delivered several addresses, both to our 
presbyteries and other bodies; and never was a lecttirer on 
controverted points received with so profound an attention. 
Not a sound of disapprobation was heard, although men of 
all opinions and many opponents were present Even when 
his ai^dent friends gave vent aloud to their approbation, not 
a murmur was heard to interrupt the apparently universal 
applause. Nor could it be otherwise, while speaking senti- 
ments of Christian philanthropy to the descendants of the 
west coimtry whigs of the seventeenth century — ^the men 
who suffered more than any other in Scotland in the cause 
of gospel liberty (loud cheers), and whose politics, if they 
had any secular politics, were, like ours of this evening, 
forced upon them by circumstances over which they had no 
control, while standing up for the integrity of the doctrine 
and discipline of the Church of Scotland." (Cheers.) 

In these efforts. Sir Andrew enjoyed the able and 
cordial co-operation of his friend General M^Douall, 
whose name we rejoice to connect with that of Sir 
Andrew ; for they laboured together in every good 
word and work, and were animated by the same 
spirit, as they are now, we doubt not, reaping to- 
gether the fruits of their "works and labours of 
love." This good old veteran, who had spent many 
years honourably in the service of his country, and 


was now devoting the evening of his days to works 
of charity and piety, entered warmly into Sir An- 
drew's schemes for supplying the spiritual destitu- 
tion of his neighbourhood, settled himself in the 
neglected locality, and generously contributed to the 

In the winter of 1838, Sir Andrew removed, with 
his family, to Edinburgh; and here he commenced 
that system of active agitation in favour of the Sab- 
bath, and against the various forms of its desecra- 
tion, in which the latter years of his life were spent. 
The first subject which attracted his notice, was the 
gross, and (as the case of London proves, beyond all 
controversy) most gratuitous and unnecessary de- 
secration of the day in the Post-office. A strong 
expression of public apprehension having been mani- 
fested lest the rest of the Sabbath might be violated 
by the opening of the London Post-office on the 
Lord's day, he immediately foresaw the fatal effect 
which the silencing of this strong but solitary testi- 
mony for the Sabbath might have on the general 
question of its observance. By personal inquiries at 
head-quarters, Sir Andrew discovered that, "in all 
Scotland the numbers who profane the Sabbath by 
following their ordinary calling on the Lord's day, in 
connection with the Post-office departments, are 
upwards of five thousand." Having convened a 
hundred gentlemen in Edinburgh, on the 14th of 

* I regret that want of space prevents me irom here introducing 
some interesting details of Sir Andrew's exertions in this cause, kindly 
furnished by the Rev. Andrew Urquhart, of Portpatrick. 



December 1838, he announced this fact, much to 
their astonishment ; and the consequence was, that 
a memorial, numerously signed by gentlemen of all 
professions, was immediately transmitted to the Com- 
missioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, sjmapathizing 
with the movement in London ; and a crowded pub- 
lic meeting was held, January 12, 1839, when an 
association was formed, called " The Scottish Society 
for Promoting the Due Observance of the Lord's 
Day." On this occasion. Sir Andrew was called to 
the chair, and, excepting perhaps the night on which 
the second reading of his bill was passed in the Com- 
mons, we may truly say this was one of the happiest 
hours of his life. Surrounded by friends of all de- 
nominations, all eager to aid in the Sabbath move- 
ment, he was now, in his own beloved land, called to 
preside over the formation of a society, founded on 
an acknowledgment of the divine authority of the 
Lord's day. After an interesting address, in which 
he alluded to the progress already made in promot- 
ing the sanctification of the Sabbath, and the neces- 
sity of guarding against the threatened invasion of 
Sabbath-breaking customs from England by the 
railways. Sir Andrew read to the meeting the follow- 
ing letter from Dr Chalmers : — 

"Dear Sir Andrew, — I cannot possibly attend the 
meeting to be held on Monday night. I need not assure 
you how desirous I am for the fulfilment of its object — a 
better observance of the Sabbath, and a prevention, in every 
right and practical way, of all those desecrations which, in 
whatever country they obtain a footing, never fail both to 



indicate and to augment the irreligion, and, by consequence, 
the immorality of the people. 

" And, in connection \rith this subject, I cannot but lament 
the manifold adverse influences which are now in operation 
against the Christianity of the working classes. Every en- 
croachment on the sacredness of the Sabbath is an encroach- 
ment on their best and highest interests, even in this world 
as well as in that which is to come. We have only to im- 
agine that, by successive inroads, our people are at length 
brought, as in France, to work alike on the Sabbath and on 
week day& It is a well-known economic law, that even in 
infant, or in rapidly progressive countries, every addition to 
the quantity of work is attended by a corresponding reduc- 
tion in the rate of wages; and this will infallibly happen, 
whether the increase arises from an additional number of 
workmen, or an additional number of work days. If ever 
the seventh day shall come into competition with the other 
six, for common week-day employment, it will as effectually 
overstock the labour market as if a seventh man were to 
come into competition with every six men all over the em- 
pire, and so bring down universally the recompense for labour. 
In other words, the population, doomed to incessant toil, as 
they already are in some trades, both in the French and 
British capitals, will not thereby earn a greater amount of 
wages than before. Their condition in respect of income 
will be as depressed as ever ; and, over and above, they will 
have been cheated of their Sabbath, 

" I am sensible that this is but an inferior and secondary 
view of the question ; and yet it is of importance that it 
should be understood, were it for nothing else than to evince 
the benevolent character of your enterprise, and that the 
cause on which you have embarked involves the most pre- 
cious rights of the poor man and the labourer. 

" But, after all, your best and highest ground is the com- 


mandment of Go A That the Sabbath law is not of tem- 
porary obligation, like the rites and ceremonies of the older 
economy, is obvious from the place which it holds in the 
Decalogue — that unrepealed code of religion and morality — 
where it stands enshrined among those duties to God upon 
the one side, and those duties to man upon the other, which, 
all of them, are of immutable and everlasting obligation. — I 
have the honour to be, &c. 

" Thomas Chalmers." 

The amount of personal labour performed by Sir 
Andrew at this period, in prosecuting the Sabbath 
cause, is almost incredible. His name appears first 
in the lists of the committees of all the auxiliaries of 
tliis society, amounting, in 1840, to twelve. But this 
was no mere honorary connection. These auxili- 
aries, in fact, owed their origin to his unremitting 
exertions, by correspondence and personal inter- 
course. He attended all their meetings, and was 
the moving spring of all their operations. He cor- 
responded on behalf of the society, using it as a 
vantage-ground from which he launched his mis- 
sives in all directions ; and he was indefatigable in 
the collection of needful statistics. To diminish the 
numbers of those who, according to the too true 
evidence of Sir Edward Lees, crowded in unseemly 
mobs for their letters on Sabbath after Sabbath, 
he waited personally upon all the managers of the 
Edinburgh banks ; and, though the plan was at first 
pronounced impracticable, yet he had the satisfaction 
of seeing note after note coming in, announcing to 
him one bank after another discontinuing the prac- 
tice of sending for their letters on that day, till, with 


one solitary exception, the whole had given in their 
accession. At the same time, he had numerous in- 
terviews and extensive correspondence with medical 
gentlemen and apothecaries, as to closing the drug- 
gist shops to the general public, and limiting the 
business to the cases of those who, under the pres- 
sure of necessity, should ring a door-bell placed out- 
side each shop. Resolutions were proposed and 
carried at a meeting of the medical profession, in 
favour of this movement, and the apothecaries agreed 
to try the experiment of the " Sabbath bell." * Sab- 
bath funerals, so often productive of unseemly ex- 
cesses, also occupied a considerable share of his 
attention; and though the custom was found too 
deeply rooted and intertwined with feelings of deli- 
cate texture, to be wholly given up, he succeeded in 
greatly abating its prevalence. In short, nothing 
was too minute in his eyes that needlessly trenched 
on the sanctity of the day, or went to deprive of its 
rest any class of persons, however high or humble 
their occupations, from the Medical Board and the 
New Club down to bakers and milkmaids. The 

* In a letter addressed to Dr Hunter, President of the Royal College 
of Surgeons, Sir Andrew — aSter submitting to him the statistics which 
had come to his knowledge during his inquiries, such as that there were 
in Edinburgh about 64 druggists' shops, and about 203 persons em- 
ployed one way or another in the sale of drugs on Sabbath, and that 
nine-tenths of the articles sold by them were not medicinal — ^reminded 
the Doctor of his favourite case, " the Dundee Barber," and quotes the 
remark made on it by Lord Brougham: — " Gain is the object of the 
master ; he keeps his shop open for hire, and I have yet to know that 
this comes within the description of an act of necessity and mercy, 
where the shop is kept open for the gain of the party opening it." 


payment of wages, too, on the morning of some 
earlier day of the week than Saturday, was a point 
to which he bent many of his exertions, having, he 
said, " by observation and inquiry, found out among 
the collateral causes of this sore evil of Sabbath- 
trading and drinking, that the workman who has 
laboured the whole week, fatigued and worn down 
with toil, receives his wages late on the Saturday 
evening, and, in some parts of Scotland, he is paid 
in an appointed tavern/' 

In carrying out these designs, he met with much 
coldness from some and opposition from others; but 
wherever he could bring his personal influence to bear 
upon the parties, he was almost sure to gain his object. 
To give one instance: — In the course of his innume- 
rable calls upon persons of every rank who could in 
the least aid him in his practical measures, he visited 
a gentleman connected with the management of the 
Canongate churchyard. His first approach was met 
by a frank and impetuous declaration, that " he, for 
one, must decidedly oppose the movement. If people 
chose to bury in their own ground on Sabbath, we had 
no business to interfere with them." Sir Andrew 
seemed not to hear the remark, neither noticing it nor 
ruffling his smiling countenance, but went quietly on 
with his proposals and explanations ; and, at parting, 
the manager shook hands with him most sweetly, 
saying, " I shall be happy to aflford you any assist- 
ance in my power." 

ISoT let it be supposed that, in prosecuting these 
details. Sir Andrew was actuated by a narrow spirit 




or circumscribed views. In waging war with some 
local desecration^ such aa the sale of milk and fruit 
in the King's Park, or, in dealing with the repre- 
sentative of majesty at the General Assembly, to 
discontinue his levees and entertainments on the 
Lord's day (in both of which objects he succeeded) 
— ^his mind was describing a circle far beyond the 
minute point on which his hand was engaged. One 
day, an English clergyman in Edinburgh having 
requested an interview with him, said, that before 
co-operating with him, he should hke to know "what 
was the eaient of his views on the Sabbath question?" 
Sir Andrew repUed by quoting the exordium of a 
speech delivered at a Sabbath meeting by the Rev. 
Francis Close of Cheltenham, who began by observ- 
ing, that, if he were asked, " How long do you intend 
to speak ?" he would answer the question as an Irish 
friend of his had done — "Oh, sir, it's incalculable!" 
And, indeed, the objects which Sir Andrew proposed 
were broad as the law of God, and wide as the world 
of mankind. The Sabbath he regarded as " a sign 
between God and his people for ever ; " and every 
step towards its sanctification was sublimed in his 
eyes as the harbinger of that universal reign of 
righteousness and peace, the glory of which shall be 
dimmed by no cloud, and bounded by no horizon. In 
truth, the extent of his views occasionally staggered 
even the friends of the Sabbath. The stoppage of 
the delivery of letters, for example, would have satis- 
fied many. Sir Andrew aimed at arresting the evil 
in its source, by stopping the mail itself through 


every part of the kingdom. This national tribute to 
the Lord of the Sabbath, so noble in its conception, 
it was his grand effort to show was as easy in its 
execution as it would be blessed in its results. We 
take leave, from respect to his memory, as well as 
from the vast practical importance of the scheme, to 
insert it here in the language of a tract, which he 
circulated largely, and which was first issued by the 
London Society for Promoting the Observance of the 
Lord's Day : — 

"Those who have been long accustomed, without a thought, 
to make use of the Sabbath mail, may be tempted to suggest 
great difficulties in the way of suspending it; but they may 
rest assured that the difficulties are only imaginary, and not 
real. No real disadvantage can ever arise to nations from a 
holy keeping of that rest which the Most High, who ' ruleth 
in the kingdom of men,' has ordained. He himself has de- 
clared, * Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach 
to any people.' — (Prov. xiv. 34.) He also has said, * The 
wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that 
forget God.' — (Ps. ix. 17.) But we have remarkable proofs 
before our eyes that no inconvenience actually arises, but 
rather comfort and blessing, from suspending the operations 
of the Post-office on the Lord's day. Consider the example 
of London, that great commercial city of the earth. Thanks 
be to God, no letter is received or sent forth on the Lord's 
day within her streets. She thus pauses in her commerce ; 
pauses, according to the will of God ; and, doubtless, she 
finds a blessing more than equal to her consistency. Can 
any rational being doubt that the same rule would be equally 
beneficial to the nation at large ? 

" There is at present, all through the country, one day in 
every week when no letter is received from London, and one 


(lay on which none is sent to London ; but, with shame be 
it spoken, neither of these days is the Lord's day : whereas, 
if the running of the mail were suspended during the twenty- 
four hours of the Lord s day, there would still be but one 
blank day, and that, to the glory of God, would be the 
Lord's day. Let the managers of the Post-oflSce arrange 
that the mail shall reach some convenient town, where it 
may rest, a reasonable time before twelve o'clock on Satur- 
day night ; let it resume its journey after twelve at night of 
the Lord's day, at such a time that no work be done on that 
day ; and it will arrive at the several towns on those days 
which are now the blank days, while in London the dehvery 
and departure of letters will remain unchanged. 

" The following scale will explain the matter more fully, 
as far as Edinburgh is concerned : — 

" The Mail which leaves Would reach 

London on Edinburgh on 

Monday, Wednesday. '\ 

Tuesday, Thursday. / As at 

Wednesday, Friday. Cpresmt* 

Thursday, Saturday, j 

Friday, ^{Blaiik) Sabbath. 

( Monday. 

Saturday ...Tuesday. 

" There would then be but one blank day all over Great 
Britain, and that day would be the Lord's day ; and the 
whole population of the kingdom would be placed upon one 
common Christian footing. The mail would depart from 
every place on every day of the week except the Lord's day ; 
allowing one universal day of rest, in which all men would 
enjoy an equal opportunity of serving the Lord, of which 
many are now deprived. Tlie habits of commerce would be 

* This, of course, refers to the time when the tract appeared. The 
increased rapidity of transmission since that time, vastly strengthens 
the case. 


rapidly accommodated to this holy order ; and, after a few 
Lord's days had passed away, men would wonder that they 
had ever opposed so godly and beneficial an arrangement" 
In the midst of these labours, continued often from 
morning to night, death was again permitted to enter 
Sir Andrew's household. His faithful old servant, 
John Gibbs, was cut off; and, ere a week had passed, 
he was called upon to surrender his youngest boy, 
Michael, an engaging child of two years old. The 
following letter will touch every parent's heart : — 

** EDiifBVBOH, May 3, 1839. 

" My Dear Mr G., — Our dear little Michael is still in 
Ufe — contrary to all expectation ; yet have we iiever, never 
been suffered to hope. A fortm'ght s watchings over his 
wasting form have not made us insensible to your sorrows ; 
and our anxiety has become great at hearing nothing more 

of dear sister E Pray let us know how she is — I 

trust, recovering — for we are past the age when blanks in 
the affections can be filled up. 

" Dearest M has been most miraculously supported ; 

but even her spirit, which was strong for all the duties for 
her dear boy, was wellnigh broken by the unexpected pvU 
of good John Gibbs' death. Yesterday, my son David and 
I helped to lower him into the cold grave. Truly he was a 
part of ourselves ; thirty years had made him second nature 
to me ; and for the rest of my family, he was part of their 
original growth. We know not ourselves without him. 

" Our dear boy has been ever, on this side the tomb, in 
the hands of God. The doctors axe all kindness, and admi- 
nister to every symptom as it arises ; but the progression 
has ba£9ed their skill We desire to say, * God s holy will, 
not ours, be done ! ' — and we trust that we shall be strength- 
ened to say so still, and to recognise the mercy alike of the 
Giver and the Taker-away, who is blessed for evermore." 





The reader may have already perceived, that in ec- 
clesiastical as well as in political matters, the subject 
of these memoirs was far from being a party man. 
Educated in the Church of England, Sir Andrew's 
early associations were all on her side; and he never 
ceased to regard himself as, by birth, baptism, and 
attachment to her evangelical creed, a true son of 
that church. At the same time, from his position, as 
well as from veneration for the Protestant institutions 
of his paternal country, he considered it his duty to 
join the communion of the Church of Scotland. At 
no period of his life did he attach much importance 
to questions of church government, or forms of wor- 
ship. It is apparent, indeed, from various sources, 
that he regarded both of the establishments as 
substantially, and so far as he was concerned, one 
Protestant Church. His peculiar mission had brought 



him into contact with good men in all denomina- 
tions; and the native liberality of his mind, aided by 
an honourable policy, led him to consider himself as, 
in one sense, the common property of all the churches 
of Christ. Fearful of every thing that might injure 
his influence in behalf of the Sabbath, which all true 
churches professed to hold in equal veneration, he 
carefully avoided every thing that might stamp him, 
in public estimation, with a sectarian aspect. To the 
last he maintained an unfeigned respect for all classes 
of evangeUcal Christians in the land ; nor was it easy 
to discover, either from the tone of his remarks, or 
from the mode of his official intercourse, any marked 
predilection for one more than another. 

The non-intrusion controversy was now at its 
height, and threatening to rend in pieces the Church 
of Scotland. Strongly attached to the religious es- 
tablishments of his country. Sir Andrew was among 
the very last who could have been expected to leave 
the national church. His natural temper, his calm 
and dignified turn of mind, together with his strong 
aristocratic leanings, might have been expected to 
prejudice him against a question partaking so largely 
of the popular element, and to have inclined him in 
the opposite direction. His aversion to controversy, 
amounting almost to morbid sensitiveness, where no 
vital point was at stake, was of itself calculated to 
keep him aloof from the stormy scenes of contention 
around him. But, in spite of all these counteracting 
motives, he found it impossible, with the high con- 
scientiousness of his religious views, to remain neutral 


in the engrossing stniggles of the day. In December 
1838, he appeared on the platform of the meeting 
held to commemorate the stand made for her rights 
by the Scottish Church in 1638, in circumstances 
which every day seemed tending to re-produce. On 
the question of popular election, his mind was far 
from being made up ; but on that of the spiritual 
independence of the church, he felt no difficulty in 
taking up his ground. 

On this topic, the following letter, which he ad- 
dressed to Henry Dunlop, Esq., Lord Provost of 
Glasgow, will leave no room for doubt : — 

" LocBNAW Castle, SepUinber 21, 1840. 

" My Lord, — I beg to acknowledge the honour of your 
lordship s invitation to an entertainment in Glasgow, which 
the friends of the great principles of the Church of Scotland 
have resolved to give to the Marquess of Breadalbane, to 
mark the high and grateful sense which they entertain for 
his lordship's services in maintaining and defending these 
principles, in the face of great and manifold discouragements, 
in the House of Lords. I must request your lordship to 
excuse my absence on this interesting occasion, as for some 
time I have declined all invitations to pubUc dinners. And 
I pray you to accept the assurance of my sorrow that I can- 
not be present, to express thereby the approbation which, at 
an humble distance, I have felt towards that noble indivi- 
dual, when reading of the Christian patriotism with which 
he stood up alone to assert the forgotten principle of the 
church's spiritual independence — the conceding of which 
warranted our Scottish forefathers of 1688 in inviting King 
William and Queen Maiy to the kingdom of Scotland; and 
the which principle of our glorious constitution, interwoven 
in church and state, was thereafter, in the Act of the Union 


of the two crowns, once recognised by the whole peerage. 
Experience has proved that this is not in our day a question 
of party politics, otherwise I should not thus write. But I 
regret the more my inability to attend, from understanding 
that the meeting is to be so arranged as to have no party 
or political character — the sole object being to make a de- 
monstration of attachment to the great cause in which the 
church is now engaged, by an award of gratitude to her 
champion, which is most justly due. — I have the honour to 
be," &c. 

The first public appearance which he made on this 
question was when, in 1840, he seconded the first 
resolution of a public meeting in the George Street 
Assembly Rooms, generally known by an incident 
which produced some sensation — the falling of the 
platform. The meeting was occasioned by the new 
interdicts of the Court of Session, adding to their 
former prohibition against the minority of the Pres- 
bytery of Strathbogie and their friends preaching 
in the churches and churchyards of the suspended 
ministers, a further interdict against their preaching 
"in any part of those parishes." Sir Andrew at 
once saw the danger to religious liberty in a prohibi- 
tion laid on the church to preach the gospel, except 
by ministers whom the church had deposed; and 
he readily joined in testifying against such encroach- 
ments of the civil courts, adding, " Come from what 
quarter soever, this interdict must be wrong." On 
this occasion, he frankly avowed that all his sympa- 
thies were with the evangelical party in the church, 
and that he would consider their expulsion, by the 
enforcement of the law against their conscientious 


convictions^ to be fatal to the well-being of the Esta- 
blished Church. In June 1841, we find him ex- 
pressing, in an address to the constituencies of Wig- 
tounshire, his preference for the Duke of Argyll's 
bill, " which modifies patronage, and establishes non- 
intrusion." And in the autumn of that year, he joined 
a deputation to government, consisting of the Rev. 
Dr Gordon, Moderator of the General Assembly, and 
several others, which, like all the other efibrts made 
at this time to avert the dreaded result, proved un- 

As the church contest advanced to a crisis, and 
as the railway question grew in importance. Sir 
Andrew regretted more poignantly than ever his 
seclusion from Parliament, where he might have 
lifted his voice in behalf of what he considered the 
cause of righteousness and truth. The following 
letter to Mrs Rochfort Clarke,* the lady of his 
stanch friend in the Sabbath cause, is written in 
that style of mingled sadness and pleasantry in 
which he was wont to indulge, when addressing 
familiar friends : — 

** LocHNAw Cabtlb, Jum 23, 1841. 

*' My Dear Mrs Clarke, — Because I have been so very 
long in acknowledging your kind letter, do not suppose that 
1 was not much touched thereby. Your eloquent lamenta* 
tion would have reanimated me, had not life political been 
actually extinct Had you been here a little sooner, the 
inspiration might, perhaps, have been communicable — and 

* To this lady, who is a B^Ton, and a cousin of the illustrious poet of 
that name, I have heen indebted for much valuable aid in the prepara- 
tion of these memoirs. 



yet I don't know; for the last year, a distaste for the local 
details of borough politics had taken such fast hold upon 
me, and so intent was I upon being shaken free of them, 
that it was only to oblige others that I held my tongue 
and abstained from a public announcement. All this, no 
doubt, was very ignoble; and the more noble end in view 
should have overcome the multitude of present disagree- 
abilities; but the poor faculties had collapsed for want of 
practice to expand them. 

" Pardon so much about self, which your kind solicitude 
has called out And where is this state of nothingness to 
end ? I know not, and I almost wonder that the bare possi- 
bility of being restored to sympathetic and congenial friends, 
did not out-brave all the horrors of a doubtful conte^. Thus, 
as I am cut off from London, if we are ever to meet again, 
you and Mr Clarke must come here, and he can reproach 
me all day for my degeneracy, which might be a relief to 
his mind. But while I thus laugh away care, it is but to 
cover my sorrow for days gone by, without a prospect of 

Roused from this state of despondency by the 
prospect of the Disruption of the Church of Scot- 
land^ an event which he greatly dreaded and depre- 
cated; grieved and disappointed at the policy of 
the government to which he had hitherto lent his 
political support, and which now seemed bent on 
endangering one of the most important institutions 
of the country, by the expulsion of a party at once 
the most popular, the most energetic, and the most 
conservative. Sir Andrew resolved once more to 
sacrifice his party politics to his religious and par- 
triotic convictions, and to suspend the use of all his 
political influence, which, in the divided state of 


parties^ was felt to be of the greatest importance. 
He determined on breaking up the conservative 
ranks in behalf of the Church of Scotland; and, 
while resigning the burghs, he held himself at liberty 
to stand again for the county, on what he reckoned 
to be at the time the great question for Scotland. 
The following letter will explain his position : — 


*" LocHNAW Castlb, May 2, 1842. 

" My Dear Lord, — Pardon my venturing to obtrude a 
letter at this busy time. But having seen your lordship s 
name in the Gazette as Lord High Commissioner to the 
General Assembly, I am thereby reminded of being bound, 
by the recollections of many undeserved kindnesses, to com- 
municate what has been indirectly told to others of the 
county of Wigtoun through our local newspaper — that I 
propose, should an opportunity occur, to offer myself again 
as a candidate for this county, and this with an immediate 
reference to the Scotch Church question. 

*' Upon the merits of this great question, pardon me for 
mentioning, that I had not finally made up my mind until 
the spring of the year 1840, when the civil court interdicted 
the preaching of the gospel, not merely within the tempor- 
alities, erections, and enclosures supposed to belong to the 
heritors of certain parishes; but extending the prohibition 
generally over the open fields of the bounds of a presbytery. 
This I deemed (over and above all other constitutional con- 
siderations involved) to have been also a direct encroachment 
upon religious liberty in the abstract, as well as upon the re- 
ligious liberty of the Church of Scotland in particular; and 
subsequent proceedings have only tended to confirm this 

" As long ago as the 1st of June 1840, 1 communicated by 


letter to Lord Galloway, that I must no longer be considered 
the candidate for the Galloway burghs, stating three reasons, 
but especially pointing to the diversity of my opinion from 
many of my friends on the Scotch Church question. Several 
letters and conversations from time to time passed on this 
point; but it was only in compliance with his lordship's re- 
quest, that I did not from the first make my announcement 

" However, during the year 1840, I made known to the 
leaders of the conservative party in this county my determi- 
nation to keep myself at all times free, for the purpose of 
giving the fullest eflfect, which any little influence which 
I might possess could produce, in favour of the cause of 
the Church of Scotland, as a question paramount to all 

''Upon this determination I acted at the general election of 
1841, when, upon the publication of an assurance in favour 
of the Duke of Argyll's bill, I had the pleasure of being en- 
abled to support the late Mr Blair of Penninghame. 

''It was the carrjring out of the same determination in 1842 
which constrained me, on a recent occasion, most reluctantly 
to declare myself to be a candidate for this county, in which 
assumed position I now stand ; and, as on coming forward 
into public life for the first time in 1830, so now in 1842 : 
on both the occasions I have acted without previous concert 
with any party, prompted alone by a sense of public duty, 
standing forth a perfectly free and independent candidate, 
bound to no man, and no man bound to me. 

" The fond desire I have all along, and do still cherish and 
cling to, is, that the gentry of Scotland may, with the bless- 
ing of God, be led to see that the cause for which I contend 
is religiously right, and constitutionally right, and that it 
embraces true Scottish conservatism, as being the alone prin- 
ciple which is able to attach all orders and degrees of men 


amongst us to the institutions of the country, both in church 
and stata It is a purely Scottish question, and must sooner 
or later be decided, and settled on pre-conceived Scottish 
principles; while delay is only aggravating and increasing 

" The combined considerations of your lordship's connec- 
tion with this county, and with the Church of Scotland, will, 
I trust, plead my apology for obtruding this too long private 
communication — ^to which, however, I would beg that the 
trouble of replying may not be thought necessary. — I have 
the honour to be, my dear lord, your lordship's very faithful 

and obliged servant, 

" Andrew Agnew/' 

In reference to this agitating question, we have 
to add, that Sir Andrew presided at a meeting of 
landed gentlemen, convened in January 1843, with 
the object of averting, if possible, the threatened Dis- 
ruption of the Established Church. And we have 
great pleasure in inserting here the following recol- 
lections of one who had the best opportunities of 
knowing the sentiments of Sir Andrew on this sub- 
ject : — • 

" Sir Andrew frequently alluded to what he considered the 
vantage-ground he occupied in regard to his advocacy of 
the Sabbath question, from the ties alike of position and 
of affection, which bound him to both the national churches, 
whilst they tied him exclusively to neither. * Had I been 
out and out true blue,' he would playfully observe, 'my 
evangelical brethren in England would scarcely have con- 
sidered me a safe character to have dealings with; whilst, 

* Mrs Alexander Stuaii. Menteath, the cousin of Sir Andrew, to 
whom we have had frequent occasion to refer. 

MBS menteath's becollectioms. 363 

had I been fettered by the scruples many good meu enter- 
tain in regard to non-episcopal communion, I could never 
have worked as I have done, heart and hand, with Presby- 
terians of every name, and orthodox dissenters of every 
variety.' ' AU who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity/ 
was a favourite text with him. ' Party men,' I have heard 
him say, ' abhor a middle course, as nature abhors a vacuum ; 
nevertheless it is sound wisdom to be very careful how we 
move a stone out of our way, which Qod, in his providence, 
has placed in it; even should it seem at the moment to 
make our path plainer. " Therein abide with Qod," applies 
to many things^ besides the actual profession in which a man 
may be engaged when converting grace lays hold upon him ; 
and since my especial work has opened upon me, not of my 
seeking, but, as I humbly trust, of the Lord's appointing for 
me, I have seen very much reason to rejoice that my mind 
was not, at an early stage, drawn out in the direction of 
chm'ch government controversy ; but that I can truly and 
honestly lay my hand in equal affection upon both the na- 
tional churches, and urge upon both alike, as one of them- 
selves, the commandment, '^ Remember the Sabbath day." ' 
In this style he would speak before the Disruption of the 
Scottish Church; but from the time the non-intrusion con- 
troversy began in earnest, he bestowed upon it all the deep 
attention of an earnest Christian man, who saw that it was 
no unimportaiit crisis in the Church of Christ that was ap- 
proaching, and that they were no mere secondary or surface 
principles that were at stake; and there was certainly no- 
thing imdecided or ambiguous either in the course he fol- 
lowed, or the views he entertained, in regard to the great 
and vital question of the spiritual independence of the church 
I think it was about this time (I mean towards the conclu- 
sion of the struggle), that he became much occupied both 
with the history and with the standards of the Scottish 

3C4 MRS ment£ath's recollections. 

Church. I remember one Sabbath that I spent at Loch- 
naw (I think m 1841), his lifting his head from a book, with 
which he had been for some time deeply engaged, and ask- 
ing me if I would listen to a chapter of the ' Confession of 
FaitL' I forget now which chapter it was; but I recollect 
both his comments when he had done reading, and the ad- 
miration he expressed for the soundness and clearness of its 
declarations of doctrinal truth ; and that he said, amongst 
other things, * We are hearing more every day of the autho- 
rity of councils in the church — ^would that all councils had 
evidenced by their fruits, that they had as fully the pre- 
sence of the Spirit of God among them as the Council of 
Divines at Westminster/ I need not recur here to the 
affectionate Christian sympathy with which his whole soul 
went forth, at the Disruption, to the good and noble men 
who then gave up their earthly all for Christ ; but, even then, 
I remember his saying to me, when describing the enthu- 
siasm of that exodus from St Andrew's Church, which I had 
not witnessed (being detained by the crowd within its walls), 
' that he really knew not where he was, or what he was 
doing,' till he found himself actually forming part of the me- 
morable procession to the Canonmills, with the arm of the 
venerable Chalmers locked in his — *a sort of vague im- 
pulse to assist and honour, and testify reverence for the great 
old man impelling me forward, to the utter forgetting that, 
as neither elder nor deacon, and a born and bred Episco- 
palian to boot, I had no sort of right or title to be there.' 
I said, * Oh, that you were an elder!' to which he replied, 
with his mild, grave look, * You should not say that; it woxild 
greatly hinder my usefulness in the Sabbath cause, and that 
is my given work, you know.' I did not quite agree with 
him; so as one will foolishly harp sometimes on the same 
string, I remember sajring almost the same thing, after en- 
joying the privilege of sharing in the first communion held 


in the Free Church of Leswalt We were walking home, 
and he asked me if it had not heen a most refreshing time ; 
and I answered, that all I had wished for more, was to have 
seen him serving the table (as an elder) instead of merely 
sitting at it. His reply was much the same as before ; only 
he added some touching allusions to his early education in 
Ireland, his grandfather, and the many good and holy men 
by whose friendship the Church of England had been en- 
deared to him. Indeed, I have no doubt, that latterly, at 
least, it was his peculiar adhesiveness of character, and the 
force and tenderness with which early associations clung 
about him, that alone prevented his admitting to himself 
how entirely the mould and substance of his religion had be- 
come Presbyterian, and that made him cling to the name of 
* his mother church ;' while no Covenanter of old could have 
had less in common with the anti-Protestant tendencies, so 
rapidly developing in her bosom; and whilst his oneness of 
sympathy with her still evangelical members, was but the 
essential unity which compacts together the whole body of 
Christ. The last time I remember any allusion to the subject 
was one day in the General Assembly of the Free Church — 
the year that the Evangelical Alliance was under discussion. 
I was sitting next Sir Andrew on the platform, at an hour 
when nothing of general interest happened to be going for- 
ward; and, to wile away the time, he showed me a list of 
the members of the Alliance ; and opposite to his own name 
was the designation, * Church of England.' I put my hand 
playfully over it, and said, * Error of the press ! — it should 
be Free Church of Scotland!' *No, no,' he replied, *you 
shall not make me desert my mother church' I went on 
in the same mood. ' Poor old lady! you do not pay her 
many visits?' ' Why, it must be confessed,' he said, laugh- 
ing, * I have of late years lived mostly among her Scotch 
cousins; and, to say the truth, she has taken in the mean 


time to some Popish bedizeniugs, which it hurts my feelings 
to see her wearing; but I cannot on that account deny my 
parentage ; and I always hope shell return to a sober Geneva 
gown at last' We both laughed merrily, and he went on, 
with the peculiar charm that characterised his conversation, 
to give me many interesting anecdotes concerning the mem- 
bers of the Alliance, mingling, as he always did, the grave 
and gay together, till the profitable resulted from both; and 
contriving, by the very authority of gentleness, to make you 
feel ashamed, at last, of any thing like a sectarian spirit, even 
in its most plausible form. And yet (and this is the part of 
his character the most difficult to convey) no one could have 
been more determined upon essentials, or farther removed 
from the mawkish liberality that confounds all creeds to- 
gether, because secretly indifferent to alL His opinions on 
all vital points of distinction were clear, firm, and decided ; 
but they were drenched in the love of Christ ; and the charity 
that * thinketh no evil' shed its gentleness over every thing 
that fell from his lip&" 

Still, interesting as this question was, nothing 
could divert him from the main object of his pursuit. 
Wherever he went, he made it his business to in- 
quire into Sabbath grievances and desecrations pecu- 
liar to the locality. In the beginning of 1841, we 
find him in England ; and, from a mass of correspon- 
dence, we may select the following, as evidences of 
his watchful and unceasing concern for the cause : — 


** Castbbton, Westmoreland, February 8, 1841. 

" My Dear Sir, — It gave me much pleasure to receive 
your kind letter of the 29th, and allow me to say that I 
fully agree with Mr Lingard and yourself, that more has 


been effected for the watermen, during the last two or three 
years, than might have been effected during twenty years, 
looking back at their hopeless aspect when your excellent 
labours first began. Your having given your mind almost 
exclusively to the watermen, has been a ' division of labour' 
most beneficial; and it were much to be desired, and should 
be prayed for, that a champion might be raised up for each 
and every subdivision of Sabbath desecration, for the libe- 
rating from their Sabbath slavery, and delivering from the 
consequent moral and religious degradation, the several 
classes of our fellow-men. Nevertheless, being convinced 
that this branch-work will only be carried on by Christian 
men who, like yourself, are impressed with the scriptural 
obligation to observe an entire Sabbath of twenty-four hours 
through all the gradations of society — I have my fears lest, 
in our anxiety for a particular class, we should cease for a 
moment to inculcate the general principle upon the legis- 
lature and the coimtry at large. Many smaller advantages 
have been obtained — not by asking the smaller, but by mak- 
ing the larger demand, and I very much doubt whether the 
smaller would even have been obtained, had not the Lord's- 
Day Society hitherto asserted the universality of the Sab- 
bath principle. I agree with you that, in order to do much, 
there must be excited, among electors and members of Par- 
liament, a more devout reverence for the Lord's day; and, 
the chief means by which we can contribute to produce this 
excitement is, by the extent of our much asking. It is our 
most powerful weapon, and by it is our battle of principle to 
be fought. By the extent of our asking can we most legiti- 
mately express and publish the extent of our principles — 
mere wishes are neither tangible, demonstrative, nor instruc- 
tive — whereas, it is a great privilege in this fr«e country, 
constitutionally to preach to the legislature and the nation, 
through the instrumentality of petitions and such-like de- 


monstrations. Excuse me, therefore, for writiDg this hurried 
line to express the hope that, in all your addresses, memo- 
rials, aad petitions, the whole Sabbath may be asserted I 
do not understand the difference between the carriage of 
goods and the carriage of men, and any other carriage, whe- 
ther on canal or railway, as both and all alike must require 
the labour of human beings with Hving souls; and I very 
much fear, that any nice distinction made between one de- 
scription of Sabbath profanation and another, may divert 
the Parliament and the countiy from their already too slow 
understanding of the full requirements of the Fourth Com- 
mandment Once more, I pray you to excuse this great 
liberty, and believe me to be your very faithful and obliged 

But the time had now come when all the energies 
of Sir Andrew were destined to be concentrated on 
one formidable foe to Sabbath observance — that of 
railway travelling. The monster Sabbath-breaker of 
England was now about to cross the border, and 
threatened, with his breath of fire and hoofs of iron, 
to trample down every remaining vestige of rever- 
ence for the Lord's day. Sir Andrew had early 
foreseen what would be the result, and had used his 
influence in Parliament to avert it. He foresaw that 
the Scottish Sabbath, which had previously found 
protection in the influences of the church, the re- 
straints of law, and the decent habits of society, was 
now to lie at the mercy of commercial companies, 
composed, to a large extent, of Englishmen — com- 
panies established for the sole purpose of gain, and, 
therefore, not likely to pay regard to a religious 


institution, and which, at the same time, professed 
to afford accommodation to the whole public, and 
might, therefore, plead a right to disregard the Sab- 
bath in their arrangements. Appearances, at first, 
were rather favourable. Thus, in September 1840, 
Sir Andrew called a public meeting in Stranraer, 
''to congratulate the Christian public, and to ex- 
press approbation of the Glasgow and Greenock, 
and Glasgow and Ayr, Bailway Companies, for de- 
termining not to open their lines of railway for travel- 
ling or traffic on the Lord's day, and to memorialize 
the Postmaster-General and the Secretary of State 
on the subject of running the royal mail train on 
that day. On this occasion, he observed that — 

"Those who had had opportunities of witnessing the 
grievous effects of railway travelling on the Lord's day in 
England, could alone comprehend what the demoralizing 
evils were which we are striving to avert from our own land, 
and to which we seem on the point of being subjected, un- 
less the religious sentiments of Scotland be thoroughly and 
speedily expressed; for, it may not be generally known that, 
by a recent Act of Parliament, the Postmaster-Qeneral was 
invested with unlimited powers to command the use of all 
railways whatever, at any hour of the day or night, on any 
day of the week, for carrying the royal mail This of itself 
implied the violation of the principle of Sabbath observance 
for which we contend; and, further, experience had shown 
that, under the cover of carrying the mail, other carriages, 
and hundreds of passengers in trains followed, to the oblite- 
rating of the Sabbath." 

In the following year, however, matters assumed a 
darker aspect. At a public meeting, held at Edin- 

2 A 


burgh, March 2, 1841, where Sir Andrew presided, 
while it was '* recorded with thankfidness that all 
railways in this country are only used on the six 
lawful days of the week," strong apprehensions were 
entertained of the designs of government, and the 
chairman was "instructed to address explanatory 
letters, and to communicate the resolutions, to all 
proper parties, respectfully inviting prompt co-opera- 
tion." This was, in truth, one of the main uses to 
which Sir Andrew turned such meetings ; and ac- 
cordingly, he followed it up immediately by publish- 
ing '* A Eespectful Appeal to the Most Reverend 
the Archbishops and Bishops of the United Church 
of England and Ireland, as instructed by a Public 
Meeting in Edinburgh, heldy" &c. In this tract, he 
urges the prelates to use their influence in favour of 
a general demonstration, through memorials and 
petitions, " to the effect that the opening of railways 
in Scotland for post-office purposes on the Lord's 
day, may be averted by stopping all post-office la- 
bours on that day, and that the blessing of the day 
of rest may be extended to all classes throughout the 
united kingdom." In addition to this. Sir Andrew 
addressed letters and circulars in all directions. One 
in particular, addressed to the Scottish Guardian, is 
entitled, " Are the English Shareholders, in the Edin- 
burgh and Glasgow Railway Company, likely to be 
the chief authors of a If ew System of Sabbath Pro- 
fanation in Scotland ? " 

In spite of all remonstrances, however, the direc- 
tors of that railway agreed in November, by a ma- 


jority, to run their trains on Sabbath. Mr Hume 
had given notice of a motion to compel Sunday pas- 
senger trains on railways. The public mind became 
excited, and a meeting was held in the Presbytery 
Hall, to consider the means which should be used 
for averting the threatened mischief. Sir Andrew, 
as chairman, opened the meeting by alluding to a 
proposal to sign an engagement not to employ that 
railway on week-days, if the threatened profanation 
should be ordered by the shareholders. He could 
not be reconciled to the apparent interference of 
such an engagement with the lawful business of the 
railway on the six days of the week ; and his expe- 
rience had led him to doubt the prospect of its being 
faithfully observed. He expressed his opinion, there- 
fore, that this would be a false position, and that they 
should use only the well-tried weapon, '^ the sword 
of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." This sug- 
gestion was overruled, and a declaration was agreed 
upon, condemning the resolution of the directors; 
and ending with the words, " It is our earnest hope 
that this opinion, when the question shall come be- 
fore the shareholders for decision, may not obtain 
their concurrence and final sanction. In the event, 
however, of this hope being unhappily disappointed, 
we shall feel ourselves constrained, by a sense of 
duty, to withhold our countenance and support from 
the company — ^to encourage, by every means in our 
power, other modes of conveyance, conducted by 
parties refraining from Sabbath desecration — and to 
give a prefereiice to those modes, both in travelling 


and transmission of goods^ though at a sacrifice to 

The history of this transaction serves to show 
how much easier it is to sign any such declaration^ 
however stringent^ than to submit to personal in- 
convenience in carrying it into practice. The de- 
claration was subscribed by many thousands;* but 
though the shareholders did resolve on running 
passenger trains on the Sabbath^ too many, taking 
advantage of what they deemed an optional pledge, 
preferred the more expeditious conveyance of the rail 
to the tedious one of the road. Sir Andrew, however, 
though adhering to his opinion that the position was 
low and untenable, yet respecting it as a self-denying 
ordinance in honour of the Lord's day, would not de- 
sert his friends ; and, long after many of them had for* 
gotten the declaration for which they had contended, 
our determined champion, who was constantly on the 
road, bent upon philanthropic objects, at much per- 
sonal inconvenience and expense, studiously kept aloof 
from the railway, and never travelled by it, until he 
went to a private meeting of the new directors, a day 
or two AFTER their order to stop the Sunday trains.f 

* The declaratioii was subscribed by nearly 160,000 names, 
f The following is curious as a proof of this : — 

" LOCHHAW Castlb, Mog 15, 1816. 

** Dear Mb Balfoua, — I hope to be in Edinburgh on Tuesday; but how I 
am to get there is the -wonder, for there is no eoaeh/ Hare I not a good action 
of damages against those that beguiled me into the signing away of my right of 
travelling by the railway ? I beg your legal opinion. Not that I can go into 
court with clean hands; for, with my eyes open, and haying endearoured to de- 
monstrate the consequences to others, against my judgment I allowed myself to 
be led astray. Nevertheless, I can admire Mr Charles Philip, who glories in his 
infirmity. But then he lives at Leith.** 


During the existence of this pledge, an interesting 
rencounter took place between Sir Andrew and Dr 
Chalmers. In September 1842, when the Queen was 
at Dalkeith, a special meeting of the Commission of 
the General Assembly was held to address her Ma- 
jesty, The Doctor, who was hastening to Edinburgh 
to attend this meeting, found himself unexpectedly 
arrested in Glasgow, being too late for *' the coach." 
What was to be done ? Some proposed the railway, 
as a matter of necessity. But, no; he protested 
against using it ; and, being fatigued, he retired to 
bed, leaving the question to be decided in the morn- 
ing. In the mean time. Sir Andrew had arrived in 
Glasgow, with the view of being presented to her 
Majesty, and found himself in the same predica- 
ment ; but, hearing of Dr Chalmers's detention, he 
hastened to his hotel, and arranged with Mrs Chal- 
mers to convey them both into Edinburgh, in a 
post-chaise, at an early hour next day. The Doctor 
heard nothing of this till the morning, and he would 
often describe how gratefully he was surprised by the 
announcement. '' In this dilemma," he would say, 
*' I went to sleep, leaving it to the guidance of pro- 
vidence. I awoke next morning to find myself in 
the hands of Sir Andrew Agnew. After all, no man 
loses by conscientiously following the law of God. It 
was a remarkable sequence,'* he would add, ** my fall- 
ing in with Sir Andrew at Glasgow." 

But another mode of carrying on the war against 
Sunday trains, more agreeable to his views of right 
poUcy, was soon presented to him. In the end of 


1841^ he was induced^ at the suggestion of a friend,* 
to purchase a share in the Edinburgh and Glasgow 
Bailway Stock, in order to qualify himself for voting 
at the meetings of the company, and there, in con- 
cert with others like-minded, lifting his testimony 
against Sabbath desecration. I^othing could be more 
opposite to Sir Andrew's nature than the idea of in- 
truding himself into any company ; and he was not 
insensible to the invidiousness of his position. He 
foresaw how plausibly it might be urged against him 
that he had become a shareholder, not to promote 
the interests of the company, but avowedly for the 
purpose of obstructing its proceedings. But he felt 
the imperious call to come forward in opposition to 
this formidable invasion of the Lord's day ; and as 
the attempt was being made, on the one side, by 
the influence of shares — especially those of English 
shareholders — ^to overlay the Scottish Sabbath, and 
convert it into a day of unholy gain, he considered 
himself warranted to employ the same means for the 
preservation of that day, and to throw his influence 
into the opposite scale. The efibrt required no small 
degree of moral courage, but the effort was made. 
The important meeting, which was to decide whether 
Scotland was to enjoy her Sabbaths in peace, or see 
them bartered away for English gold, was approach- 
ing ; and the interval was employed by Sir Andrew 
in preparing the public mind for the struggle, by 
circulars, letters, and applications for proxies. The 
result was, that on the day of meeting, February 22, 

♦ James Bridges, Esq., W.S., Edinburgh. 


1842, there were 213 memorials from public bodies, 
including about 40,000 names, presented against the 
unholy proposal of Sabbath traffic; while only six 
other bodies were hardy enough to come forward on 
the other side. Sir Andrew moved, as an amend- 
ment, "That the report be approved, except in as 
far as, directly or indirectly, it may sanction the 
trafficing of trains on the Lord's day." He was 
listened to with respect, but the meeting was speedily 
converted into a bear-garden. Irritated at the im- 
mense phalanx of memorials laid on their table, the 
supporters of Sabbath traffic, headed by Mr Alex- 
ander M^Niell, charged their opponents with-^mfair 
methods in procuring them, and denounced the sig- 
natures as forgeries.* This, of course, led to angry 
altercation ; and it was brought to a climax by Mr 
Makgill Crichton, who, after boldly speaking of the 
small security for the morality and sobriety of the 
railway servants, if they were made to desecrate 
the Sabbath, exclaimed, with a voice which pealed 
high above the storm, " Your railway is not safe!'* 
The meeting became quite frantic — the shares were 
at stake ! But the most overwhelming argument was 
that employed by Mr M'Niell, who distinguished 
himself on this occasion, and whose name must now 
be transmitted in the page of history as the cham- 
pion of Sabbath traffic, when, pointing to his pile 
of inanimate paper, he said, "What is the use of 

♦ It is hardly necessary to say, that the only circumstance which gave 
an air of plausibility to this charge was, that in rural districts, some 
people, on coming forward to sign, had foolishly employed one indivi- 
dual to save them the trouble of writing their names. 


speaking? — can you convert these proxies?^** True 
enough, these proxy votes, the greater part of which 
were from England, defeated at this time all the ef- 
forts made to maintain the integrity of Scotland's 
Sabbath; and a resolution was carried in favour of 
morning and evening trains on that holy day.1" 

Sir Andrew was not the man to be daunted by 
this defeat. '* We have nothing to do with success," 
he would often say; 'Hhat is in better hands than ours. 
We have only to do with means." He gave notice of 
his intention to renew his motion at next half-yearly 
meeting. Meantime, ever on the alert to watch the 
sources whence danger might arise to the cause dear 
to his heart, he embraced the opportunity of her 
Majesty's visit to Scotland, in September 1844, to 
transmit an address to Lord Aberdeen, praying that 
the peculiar habits of Sabbath observance in Scot- 
land might be brought under the notice of her Ma- 
jesty, and that the influence of the example of the 
court might be given in then: favour. Sir Andrew, 
who had dictated this address from a sickbed, felt 
highly gratified by receiving a gracious acknowledg- 

* Mr M'Niell and his friends were afterwards, as we shall see, turned 
out hj these same inexorahle proxies. 

t Approximation to state of votes, taken at Glasgow, Feh. 22 : — 


Shares. Votes. Shares. Votes. 

Present, 620 99 963 131 

Proxies, 7624 1213 3502 644 

8144 1312 4466 776 

4466 776 

Majority for runmng trains, 3679 637 

^OUugow Arffus, qf February 24, 1842. 


ment of it from Prince Albert, to whom it had been 
forwarded. * 

IsTot satisfied with acting on the defensive, Sir 
Andrew now resolved to carry the war into England, 
from whence the danger was mainly apprehended; 
convinced, as he said, '^ that it is impossible, in this 
age of locomotion, for the one country to keep at a 
higher point of morality than the other ; and that 
they must rise and fall together, having henceforth a 
common level." In a printed missive, dated Nov- 
ember 1844, and addressed to the Hon. Somerset 
R. Maxwell, High-Sheriff of the county of Cavan, 
who had retired from railway management from con- 
scientious objections, he thus argues the point : — 

" Your letter, sir, remarks upon the failure of the efforts 
of God-fearing men to remedy the desecration of the Lord's 
day on railways ; and it is to be lamented that too many have, 
in consequence of failure, retired from railway companies. 
But, has not the effect of the retirement of such men from 
the contest, been an extension of the undisturbed and unre- 
proved work of Sabbath desecration ? And surely they had 
not exhausted aJl adequate means of counteraction to the 
evil ; for, had they remembered that repeated failures were 
characteristic of all great religious and moral questions in 
this free country, and that perseverance has invariably gone 
before success, they would not so soon have withdrawn the 
salt from the mass. Many shareholders retired, under the 

* The feelings which he at all times cherished towards the Queen 
were those of most affectionate and deep-seated loyalty. When he at- 
tended the levee for the first time after her accession to the crown, he 
has told how he lingered and prayed for her, until, all unconscious of 
the crowd around him, he was overheard saying, " God hless her 1 " 


erroneous impression of railway companies being necessarily 
and essentially Sabbath-breakers, with whom no compa- 
nionship could conscientiously be held But this was most 
erroneous; for railwajrs have hitherto desecrated the Sabbath, 
not by the necessity of the law, but by a vicious administra- 
tion on the part of the proprietors; and what they can do, 
they can undo. In many other branches of trade, as in too 
many of the habits of private life, we see the Fourth Com- 
mandment transgressed, yet we do not abandon the principle 
of the moral law as hopeless, nor cease to advocate the ex- 
tension of its due observance. The accumulating evils occa- 
sioned by the profanation of the Sabbath by railways, you 
have in a few words well described ; yet it is scarcely possible 
to anticipate, in imagination, the fatal consequences to re- 
ligion and to our children, if the new designs which are now 
contemplated by some speculators, in forgetfulness and re- 
gardlessness of the warnings of the Word of God, are sinfully 
carried out Is it not a Christian duty to save the generality 
of shareholders from such contamination ? And as there is 
nothing new under the sun, as with our forefathers so with 
us, are not the means of counteraction within our reach, if 
we but stretch out our hands ? 

" Here, happily, with the poison we have the antidote pro- 
videntially provided ; and the design of this letter is to draw 
attention to the fact, that Acts of Parliament, while creating 
railway companies, have at the same time created half-yearly 
general meetings of proprietors, at which the shareholders 
are privileged to speak and vote as to all matters of regula- 
tion ; and that, at such meetings, our deprecation of evil can 
be most emphatically expressed, and our resistance most 
strenuously made, and legitimately sustained. And it is 
most respectfully and anxiously submitted, that the privilege 
by law provided, points out a bounden duty to all who have 
the good cause of the Sabbath at heart, and who can afford 


to give a very moderate sum of money for becoming railway 
proprietors, to purchase in their several local railway com- 
panies the number of shares required for qualifying them 
for speaking and voting at all public meetings — ^the only 
point to be aimed at being the conforming of the working 
of railway companies, as well as all other companies, to ha- 
bite of Sabbath observance, according to the commandment^' 

With the ifTewcastle Lord's-Day Society he was in 
constant communication ; and several of his letters^ 
containing "Hints on Present Duty," "Eailway 
Tactics/' &c., addressed to Thomas George Bell, 
Esq., the active secretary of that society, were printed 
and circulated in that locality. 

In the close of 1843, the Free Church sent a 
number of ministers and elders as deputies into 
various parts of England, to explain their principles, 
and solicit support in behalf of their magnificent 
schemes. This was too good an opportunity for Sir 
Andrew to lose ; he therefore addressed to the mem- 
bers of these deputations one of the most eloquent 
and energetic epistles which he ever wrote, calling 
upon them to embrace the opportunity of their visit, 
to impress on the English mind the advantages of 
the Scottish Sabbath, and deprecate the encroach- 
ments made on it by the railways. 

"Doubte have been raised," he says, "as^to whether it 
had been better if Wallace and Bruce had never lived, and 
the King Edwards had succeeded in comprehending the 
whole island under one name and one law. At the risk of 
being deemed discourteous, I must acknowledge that I still 
rejoice in the victory of Bannockbum; and I am content at 


this time to rest the justification of my patriotism on the 
Scottish Confession of Faith, which, humanly speaking, 
might never have been so compiled, had not our fathers 
been privileged to raise the platform of the Reformation in 
a countiy of manageable extent, in an age when, in other 
countries, it was impracticable; for thus, the standard of the 
Lord's day they were enabled fiilly to display within their 
own narrow boimda And now, if I understand aright the 
object of your visitation to England, it is to set forth the 
scriptural grounds and the doctrinal standards of your church, 
showing that it is by such, in all their integrity, and by none 
other, that you still abide; and while asking sympathy, and 
support, and co-operation in every good word and work, at 
the same time to spread the doctrine of the law of your God 
as your fathers have handed it down." 

In connection with this, it may be here mentioned, 
that, during the whole of the railway war. Sir An- 
drew had the cordial co-operation of the Presby- 
teries, Synods, and General Assembly of the Free 
Church. He especially watched the meeting of Sy- 
nods, corresponding with the conveners of the Syno- 
dical Sabbath committees. During the sitting of 
the General Assembly, he always presided at a pub- 
lic breakfast, under the management of the Free 
Church Sabbath committee. He used to say, that 
the existence of private religious societies proved 
that the church courts were not doing their duty, 
and would often advert to the advantage of Presby- 
terianism, and the superiority of the working of an 
ecclesiastical court, to the occasional and precarious 
efforts of societies. The following fragment, found 
among his papers, bears on this subject : — 


*' Although for many years a member and promoter of 
particular religious societies, and still, with the help of God, 
resolved to support them to the best of my ability, it is not 
that I regard them as indicating the wholesome progress of 
the great society of the state, but rather as indicative of 
imperfection in the practical working of the institutions of 
the state, whether religious, moral, or magisterial. And the 
existence of so many Lord's-day societies in the present day, 
is strikingly illustrative of this idea ; for where would be the 
necessity of such societies, if the church and state courts 
did cany out, in the pulpit and in the parish, their own 
scriptural principles ? If every man of Christian character 
threw the weight of his personal and relative example, and 
his moral influence, in the right direction, and if such of 
them as are also magistrates did, over and above the moral 
influence attaching to their office, put in force the law of 
the land, to the terror of evil-doers, and thus were the praise 
and protectors of those who desire to honour the day of the 
Lord — where would be the necessity for Lord's-day societies? 
They might be dispensed with, seeing they are but so many 
libels upon the above-named institutions of the general so- 
ciety of the empire." 

One association at this time^ from the catholic 
spirit which it breathed, won, for a time at least, his 
special countenance. We refer to the Evangelical 
Alliance. He hailed it as an organ for expressing, 
what every child of God experiences, a fellow-feeling 
with '* all the holy brethren.'* The following hnes, 
found transcribed by him in his memorandum-book, 
reflected his aspirations after the blessed consumma- 
tion of the plans and purposes of Him whose name 
is Love : — 


" I'm apt to think 

The man that could surround the sum of things, 

And spj the heart of God, and secrets of His empire. 

Would speak hut love. With him the bright result 

Would change the hue of intermediate things, 

And make one thing of all theology." 


Sir Andrew presided at^ a public meeting of the 
Alliance^ which was addressed by the celebrated 
Merle D'Aubign^ ; and he made several eflforts to 
turn it to account in favour of the Sabbath, which 
was embraced among the objects of the Alliance, It 
must be confessed, that, with the utmost good-will 
on the part of its members, he found that, from its 
constitution, it was better adapted to the purposes 
of speech than of action. He attempted, however, 
in the close of 1846, to link it to the cause of the 
Sabbath, by organizing a sort of Sabbath AlUance of 
all denominations, in Stranraer and the neighbour- 

Meanwhile, the direct warfare was in progress 
against the Sunday trains on the Edinburgh and 
Glasgow Railway, which, as Sir Andrew once happily 

* A striking exemplification of Sir Andrew's zeal in this matter, is 
furnished hj the Rev. John Macleod, now of Alloa, whom he employed 
to get up a requisition for a public meeting. Having neglected to at- 
tend to two previous notes from Sir Andrew, " there was put into my 
hand on my return," he says, " one bleak December morning at four 
o'clock, a third communication, enclosing the scroll of a requisition. I 
could not but exclaim, ' This is extraordinary ! there is here zeal and 
determination in the cause of God, which no apology nor obstacle can 
overcome. There is importunity here like that of the widow — it meets 
one dai/ and night!* Further apologies were, of course, out of the 
question ; and under the influence of such an example, which was felt 
to embody something like a rebuke, the whole of a boisterous day was 


described it, " though but a drop in the ocean, has 
been, and still is, the battle-field — the Belgium of the 
question." At the opening of this campaign, no- 
thing could be more discouraging than the prospect 
before him and his friends. " At a half-yearly meet- 
ing of the company, held in Glasgow, there was not 
a man connected with the religious city of Glasgow 
who would come forward to help them. An appeal 
was made to religious men, and with very great 
difficulty they got at the next meeting a dozen. And 
yet, in the same city, where at first they could not 
get one individual to appear in their support, in the 
course of a few days, thirteen hundred gentlemen 
not only put their names to the memorial, praying 
the directors to keep the railway absolutely closed 
on the Sabbath, but they pubUshed the memorial in 
the newspapers, with their names and addresses at 
full length."* Ko means were left untried which 
could promise success. Duly, at every half-yearly 
meeting, was the lance of our worthy knight couched, 
and a tilt made at Sunday traffic. But not satisfied 
with contending in person, it was his daily business to 

spent in procuring the necessary sigpiatures." Mr Macleod adds, that 
the requisition was sent off, in the hope that, as it was Thursday, Sir 
Andrew would grant them a. respite for that week, at least : but to his 
surprise, in a few hours he received a note from him summoning a 
meeting for the following day! — "an evidence of promptitude and 
vigour, and the value placed upon present time and opportunities." 

* Sir Andrew's speech at Manchester, January 1837. Among those 
who actively co-operated with Sir Andrew in the agitation against Sab- 
bath railway traffic, we have great pleasure in mentioning the names of 
Mr Charles Philip of Leith, Dr Smyttan, Mr Makgill Crichton, Mr 
James Bridges, Mr W. G. Cassels, and Mr James Balfour, Jun. 


prevail on others to follow his example. With this 
view, letters were despatched to all supposed to be 
friendly and influential. These, again, converted 
into printed circulars, were dispersed far and wide ; 
for Sir Andrew may be said to have been the pub- 
lisher and distributor of his own productions. Even 
handbills were put in requisition, and, through Sir 
Andrew's industry, the walls of the most distant 
towns were placarded with large-lettered informa- 
tion, so that the most careless passer-by of the 
working classes might not remain ignorant of the 
real nature of the struggle that was going on. 

The main object, however, was to obtain proxies 
favourable to his views; and, for this purpose, he 
sent circulars to all the proprietors, generally en- 
closing some tracts bearing on the subject, and soli- 
citing their votes against the Sunday employment of 
the Railway. To these circulars, he received an 
immense host of replies; some favourable — others, 
not satisfied with declining, but filled with insult, or 
fuming with indignation. The hostile packet (for 
both good and bad have been preserved) forms a 
very rich collection, a sort of moral kaleidoscope, re- 
flecting, in a great variety of forms, the pervading 
worldliness of the writers, stimulated by self-interest. 
One writes in a strain of solemn rebuke, treating Sir 
Andrew to a long lecture on the Christian Sabbath 
— another transmits what is meant to be a cutting 
sarcasm at his Sunday cooking and carriage-driving. 
One gentleman subscribes himself " Humbug," an- 
other, '^ Jim Crow of Connecticut." A crusty Eng- 


lishman writes, '^ I will thank you, sir, not to trouble 
me with your circulars ; my time is valuable, and 
I have something better to do than attend to your 
humbugging cant about Sunday travelling." Another 
genuine John Bull bluntly exclaims — "Sir, if you 
don't hke the concern, why don't you sell out of 
it ? " A cross old lady is quite alarmed at the pro- 
spect of seeing Sabbath observance, as inculcated in 
Sir Andrew's letter, imposed upon all. " It would 
make it a fearful day to me. IsTo, no. Sir Andrew ; 
I wish to be in the open air, and to see the face of 
nature; then my devotional feelings are warmed." 
Another shareholder, whose circular the clerk had 
closed with one of those religious labels formerly in 
use, bearing the text, " Marvel not if the world hate 
you," returns it in a towering rage, remarking, " K 
there were no other reason why I should send it 
back, it would be the very impertinent label with 
which you have thought proper to seal it." But, 
perhaps, the most curious of these effusions is that 
of one who, with a conscience plainly ill at ease, 
viewed the whole matter in the light of a personal 
insult. He says, " Sir, your remarks are so person- 
ally applied to me, that I detest them in toto ; and 
if I had one thousand votes to give, I would vote 
against your motion ! " 

We have had frequent occasion to notice the 
striking difference between the impression made 
on strangers by the public actings of Sir Andrew, 
and that which was the result of personal acquaint- 
ance. The following illustration of this occurred at 

2 B 


Glasgow, where Sir Andrew was attending a meeting 
of the shareholders of the Edinburgh and Glasgow 
Railway, and had agreed to stay the night with Mr 
Campbell of Tillichewan. Mr Campbell happened 
to be engaged to dine that day with a West India 
merchant, who was an active opponent of Sir An- 
drew's at the railway meetings, and was a scrutineer 
of the votes for the party in favour of Sunday trains. 
Mr Campbell asked leave to bring Sir Andrew with 
him, which was readily and politely granted. They 
spent a pleasant evening ; and the merchant having 
met his friend a few days after, in referring to the 
visit, mentioned that he had often taken part in rail- 
way meetings against Sir Andrew ; but such a favour- 
able impression had been made on his mind, that he 
had resolved never again to appear in opposition 
to him. 

A remarkable revolution, however, in the history 
of this railway, was now at hand. A system of man- 
agement had been adopted which proved very un- 
satisfactory to a number of the proprietors. A 
meeting was held in England, which issued in a de- 
putation to Glasgow, charged with the task of pro- 
curing a new set of directors. The gentlemen of the 
deputation had an interview with the friends of the 
Sabbath, in which they stated that their great anxiety 
was to secure men of intelligence and standing in 
the country, who would manage the line with effi- 
ciency, and command general respect ; that it would 
be no objection to them that they held the views of 
Sir Andrew on the question of Sabbath trains ; and 


that it would be left to the directors, after their ap- 
pointment, to dispose of that question as they might 
think best. The sequel is well known. A new board 
of directors, most of whom were opposed to Sunday 
trains, was suggested ; * the meeting took place in 
September 184G; the old directors were found to 
have an overwhelming majority against them ; they 
resigned, and the new directors were appointed. 
Nothing was said at the meeting by Sir Andrew or 
any of his party ; but in the evening he, along with 
two of his friends, had an interview with the deputa- 
tion, when the question was fully discussed ; and the 
English shareholders expressed their willingness to 
give up the Sabbath trains, in deference to the feel- 
ings of the Scottish people. The consequence was, 
that on October 21, 1846, the following advertise- 
ment was issued : — 

" On and after Sunday, the 15th day of November next, 
the passenger trains on Sundays will be discontinued/' 

Thus, without any direct interference on the part 
of Sir Andrew, and by the weight of that very Eng- 
lish influence which had been so ostentatiously pa- 
raded by the opposite party, the day was won for the 
Sabbath of Scotland ! The event seemed to take all 
parties by surprise. Like the explosion of a maga- 
zine in the midst of the battle, it produced a tem- 
porary suspension of hostilities ; and the eyes of all 

* The names of the new directors opposed to Sunday traific, were 
Mr Henderson of Park, Mr Dunlop of Craigton, Mr Orr Ewing of 
Bromley, Mr James MatUand Hog of Newliston, Mr John Maitland, 
accountant, and the late Mr Clapperton, Edinburgh. 


God-fearing people were turned, as if by common 
consent, from the agencies of man, to the wonder- 
working hand of the Almighty. Their feelmgs, we 
believe, were faithfully expressed in the following 
reflections : — 

" Never in any human event can the hand of God he more 
remarkably traced than in the arrested profanation of the 
Sabbath by travelling on this particular railway. Most as- 
sm^y it may be said here, that not by might nor by wisdom 
has this been accomplished. It is evidently and manifestly 
the band of the Lord The opponents of Sabbath travelling 
in the Edinburgh and Glasgow Bailway Company formed a 
small minority. Many were accustomed to look upon their 
resolution in continuing to be still members of the company, 
as something chivalrous, — and that they were indul^ng in 
Utopian and visionaiy speculations, when they continued to 
haraEB and vex themselves by a regular attendance at the 
half-yearly meeting, and by constantly raising the question 
in vain. Unbelief has been rebuked ; in this instance Sir 
Andrew Agnew and his friend^ have been signally rewarded 
for their perseverance, and for their continuing to hope 
against hope. They formed a small minority of the com- 
pany — scarce a handM — whose voice scarcely got a hearing 
in the assembly of shareholders ; and yet there they were 
not deterred Even there, and in these circumstances, they 
did not give up the battle as vain, but continued still to lift 
up their testimony; and though they could not see firom 
what quarter, or in what way, dehverance might come, yet 
in darkness they maintained their fidelity, and testified for 
the honour of the Lord's Sabbath And it has pleased God 
to make it very manifest that it was His own work, to vin- 
dicate the honour of His own name, and to put a distinguish- 
ing mark of His favour on the supporters of His own cause. 
It was not in any way which men could have anticipated 


beforehand that this result has been accomplished. They 
have not succeeded by argument — ^they have not succeeded 
by influence — ^they have not succeeded by carrying the com- 
pany — they have not succeeded by exercising the weight of 
their own talents, their own industry, or their own persever- 
ance ; but they have succeeded in a way and in a manner 
which they could not possibly have anticipated beforehand. 
And even as to the change in the management of the affidrs 
of the company which has taken place, and which has is- 
sued in this result, who among us beforehand could have 
anticipated it, or could have calculated that a mere change 
in the directors of that great institution would have led to 
the abandonment of the practice which, over and over again, 
had received the seal and stamp of an overwhelming majo- 
rity of the members of that company ? And yet it is so. It 
has been found that the Lord in His providence has over- 
ruled this for accomplishing His own end : and Sir Andrew 
Agnew, and his friends themselves who continued faithful 
in the matter in this railway company, have to acknowledge 
that it is evidently the Lord s doing. Assuredly we may 
learn a lesson from it, and we trust that the example will be 
followed by many of our influential friends throughout the 
country; and that they will feel it their duty to persevere, 
even amidst many discouragements, and when there is no 
prospect of success before thenL"* 

This favourable change filled Sir Andrew with 
gratitude and joy, not merely on its own account, as 
a step in the right direction, but on account of the 
public example it afforded, and the effect it might 
have in removing prejudices against his mode of 
prosecuting the war against railway desecration. Of 
this, he obtained, among other proofs, the following 

* From the London Lord's-Day Society's Quarterly Publication. 


highly gratifying assurance from the late Dr M'Far- 
lan of Greenock : — * 

'^GsiiNOOKy Jamutuj 1, 1847. 

" Dear Sir Andrew, — I cannot conclude this 

letter without mentiomng how heartily, m common with 
many others, I joyed in your joy on occasion of the Chris- 
tian resolution of the directors of the Glasgow and Edinburgh 
Company. On this the first day of a new year, allow me 
to express my earnest wish that it may please Grod to spare 
you, not only to see that resolution confirmed by a vote of 
the shareholders, but to witness, as at Folkstone, the triumph 
of religious principle and sound poUcy in England, in the 
cessation of Sunday trains in that part of the kingdom. You 
and the shareholders who persevered, in opposition to over- 
whelming majorities, in protesting against the desecration of 
the Sabbath, have convicted me — ^nothing extraordinary — 
of an error in judgment I thought and said that you were 
weakening your cause by protesting with so small a mino- 
rity, and that your wisest course was to wait for better times; 
that is, for times when you might have, if not a majority, 
at least a much larger minority, favourable to your views. 
Perhaps you will forgive me when I admit, as I do most 
unreservedly, that the event has proved that I was altogether 
in the wrong. If you had ceased from entering your pro- 
test, the English shareholders would not have acted as they 
have done.— I am, &c. « p^^R. MTarlan." 

But Sir Andrew never allowed his emotions to 
interfere with his straight-forward views of right 
principle. Still, the Sunday mail was kept up; and 
even during the critical period which elapsed be- 
tween the decision of the directors and the meeting 

* This venerable clergyman, when nearly the age of seventy, joined 
the Free Church at the Disruption, thereby sacrificing one of the 
largest livings in the Church of Scotland. 


of shareholders in the ensuing spring, which was to de- 
cide on the wisdom of their policy, it was with great 
diflSculty he could be prevailed on by his friends to 
" hold his peace," and allow the change a fair trial. 
The following notes will speak for themselves : — 

^^ November 10, 1846. — ^Although there may be wisdom in 
forbeaiaDce at this critical moment of the Sabbath cause, yet 
inaction must be the exception and not the rule, and silence 
can only be kept, aye and until the 15th of this month* is 
with the blessing past, and its good promises realized. The 
15th being past, we must get our position righted. At pre- 
sent we are obsciuing our testimony, by seeming to acquiesce 
in the carrying of the mail, while rejoicing in the cessation 
of passenger traina Even Punch sees the inconsistency of 
that position* And it is ever so ; it is by the shrewdness of 
men of the world in spying out inconsistencies, that even 
religious men are driven up to their principles — otherwise 
many points would be yielded for the sake of peace. But 
there can be no peace. The battle, as Dr Candlish remarks, 
is only now beginning, and he will have the best of it who 
can take up the strongest position. Oiu: position is the 
Word of God, and our weapons are 'testimonies,' which 
must needs he directed against each and every infringement 
of the requirements of the Word of (led, as they providen- 
tially arise. With 'success' we have nothing to do."*)- 

*' November 13, 1846. — In the prayerful hope that our 
expectation will be realized the day after to-morrow, by the 
cessation of the passenger tmins (which, as the Lord's doing, 
will be marvellous in our eyes), it appears to me an addi- 
tional providence that the ' Commission' of the Free Church 
falls upon this incoming week — ^not only to give the col- 
lected church an opportunity of re-echoing their thankful 

* When the passenger trains were to cease. 

t To James Balfour, Jun., Esq., W.S., Edinburgh. 

rw^m^'^^^t^'^i^^m ' 


acknowledgments, but also to enable the church, as such, 
to take up its true position as the expounder of the Fourth 
Commandment It was fit and proper, in the first instance, 
that full and unqualified satisfaction should be expressed, 
and all the more because we know that the good men in 
the new board are desirous to stop the royal mail But this 
is not known to the public; nor is it probable, as I fear, 
that the mail will stop at this time ; and already the idea 
is taken up that the commandment is to be compromised. 
I speak of an impression which has begun, but which should 
not be allowed to grow — ^as grow it will, if not 'testified' 
against We laymen have used all our forbearance hitherto 
by 'holding our tongues,' as we were requested; but the 
time is now coming for speaking out our testimony." ♦ 

"December 11, 1846. — I have a high idea of the English 
uprightness and moral courage. The English directorB will, 
I am sure, counteract any vicious attempt to hasten on an 
ill-tempered special meeting. We have some striking illus- 
trations in history of the danger of meddling with Scotchmen 
touching their religion; and it had been well if her Ma- 
jesty's ministers had taken warning from history. Soon 
after the Disruption in the Scottish Establishment, one of 
the London newspapers remarked, ' The English government 
have no idea of the intensity of the Calvinistic mind.' It is 
as gold trifed in the fire, and they will be wise who keep the 
fire imder and do not blow the coals. In the mean time, 
let me beg of you to make a tabular view of the progression 
of moral influences, arithmetical and geometrical, taking for 
your data^ ' One shall chase a thousand, and two put ten 
thousand to flight;' — and the ascending scale, rapid beyond 
conception, may give some faint idea how God can work by 
few as well as by many. We are in duty bound, however, 
not to tempt His providence; and I hope we are all writ- 

* To the same. 

^fmmmmm^^f^rmmi i«Ma^i«aH 


ing in every direction, praying our friends to buy, buy, 

In the mean time, public meetings were held in 
various places, to express approval of the conduct of 
the directors. One of the largest meetings ever con- 
vened in the Music Hall, Edinburgh, took place on 
December 22, 1846. "!N"ot only were all the lobbies, 
and every available nook, closely occupied; but many 
were obliged to go away disappointed. Though the 
proceedings extended to upwards of four hours, the 
interest and enthusiasm, both of the speakers and of 
the audience, never seemed for a moment to flag.*' 
This meeting Sir Andrew was prevented from at- 
tending, from the roads being stopped by snow. 

At the public meeting held in Manchester, Janu- 
ary 23, 1847, to adopt a memorial to the directors 
of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, in approba- 
tion of their conduct. Sir Andrew delivered one of 
the best speeches he ever made. Among other re- 
marks, he said : — 

'* It was no new thing for him to take part on questions 
of this character in England, Scotchman though he was ; 
and long had he desired to see such a movement as that 
which existed in Scotland carried on in England He had 
had to do with these matters at the time when railways 
were first introduced, and it was the opinion of many at that 
time that one of two courses would take place in God s pro- 
vidence; — either that the directors, finding they had the 
means of transition in six days now which formerly occupied 

* To Thomas Greig, Esq., Combrook, Manchester — a gentleman who 
has honourably dbtinguished himself at railway meetings as an able and 
efficient advocate of the Sabbath. 


ten, could afford to give God his own, and thus observe the 
Sabbath, or that they would not Very soon, however, it 
was discovered that they had no intention to give Qod his 
own. (Hear, hear.) Then the only consolation was, and a 
melancholy one it was, that in a short time the enormity 
would grow to such a height, that the moral sense of the 
country would be aroused, and that the religious portion of 
the community in England would declare, that mercantile 
men should not by their cupidity swamp the Sabbath-day. 
(Hear.) There was one expression which naturally fell from 
the lips of the speakers, as descriptive of the importance of 
the movement in which they were engaged. They said it 
was ' a crisis.' Now, he did not like the use of that expres- 
sion, lest it should be thought that, should the vote come to 
in Glasgow be against the new directoiB, and they in oonse- 
quence be driven from their posts, the question would be 
lost He believed in his conscience that the losing of this 
question at the present time would do Seur more than the 
gaining of it in rousing the reUgious zeal of the people of 
Scotland. (Cheers.) They had sometimes had visits at the 
meetings of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Bailway Company 
of English shareholders, and when they went down to Soot- 
land they seemed to dislike more than their Scottish friends 
did the discussions so frequently entered into as to the run- 
ning of Sunday trains; but he did assure the EngUsh 
shareholders, that if they outvoted those who were opposed 
to the running of trains on the Sabbath, they would not by 
80 doing prevent such discussions for the ftiture, but that, 
on the contrary, they would be carried on with more anima- 
tion and zeal than ever. (Cheers.)" 

We have only to add, in concluding the history of 
this affair, that at the meeting of shareholders, Marcli 
1847, Sir Andrew took part in the lively discussion^ 
which issued in a triumphant vote in favour of the 


new directors. On this occasion^ as in Parliament^ 
he felt indebted to his outspoken opponents. The 
speech of Mr James Aytoun, advocate, was of such 
a character, that Sir Andrew observed, much to the 
amusement of the meeting, "I confess I am very 
anxious that we should go to the vote forthwith, 
before the effect of the last speech is lost ; for I do 
believe, if there is any party in the room more as- 
tonished than another, it is the gentlemen who sit 
around the gentleman who has just spoken. I believe 
that if they had had the least idea of the appearance 
he was to make, he would have been the last man 
in Scotland that would have been put forward this 
day.'' A majority of 162 votes against the resump- 
tion of Sunday trains, settled the question, much to 
the disappointment of the party who pleaded for 
them,* and to the satisfaction of the great body of 
the Christian community. It would be instructive 
to know the secret springs that led to the overthrow 
of the party who, under the mask of zeal for their 
English constituents, scrupled not to outrage the 
most sacred feelings of their countrymen ; and who 
fell ingloriously by the very hands out of subser- 
viency to whom they were willing to sacrifice the 
best inheritance of their native land. 

* ** When the English section of the directors, represented hj Mr 
Cheetham, took up the question, and, hj a strong and decided circular, 
called upon the shareholders to support the Scottish Board in thdr 
riews, the committee confess that they viewed this unexpected ifUer/er^ 
enee with anxiety." — (Report by the Glasgow Committee for the R^ 
EitablithmmU ofHu Sunday Panenger Trains March 10, 1837.) 




It may often have been observed, that good men, in 
approaching their end, have been led, by some mys- 
terious attraction, to revive the associations of early 
youth. The following note, dated 27th February 
J 847, from an old acquaintance. Major John Thorn- 
ton, must have recalled, vividly and agreeably, to the 
mind of Sir Andrew, the scenes of early days : — 

"Has Sir Andrew forgotten the days of 1810 and '11, 
when he and the writer occasionally met at the balls at 
Wycomb and Oxford, and where the sprightly person of the 
blithe baronet is well remembered by the writer? He thinks 
the minds of each have undergone a marvellous transforma- 
tion since those days — even that described by our Saviour 
to Nicodemus, and which will be the pilgrim's scroll of 
assurance, and the marriage' garment, without which there 
can be no welcome to the marriage feast or admission to 
heaven, where the writer hopes again to meet the worthy 
baronet, through an interest in their common Saviour/' 


How aflfecting to think that, in two short years 
after this, and exactly on the day when this note was 
dated (February 27), Sir Andrew's public career was 
terminated ; and that, in a few weeks after, he had 
been removed to that better country where his friend 
hoped to meet him ! 

Several events, of an auspicious nature, served 
about this time to cheer the heart of our Sabbath 
champion. Among these may be mentioned the 
marriage of his eldest son, the present baronet, who 
was united, on the 20th August 1848, to the Lady 
Mary- Arabella Louisa Noel, the daughter of the Earl 
of Gainsborough. Sir Andrew was present on this 
happy occasion ; and, in addition to the satisfaction he 
felt at a union so congenial to the dearest hopes and 
wishes of his heart, he partook with great zest in the 
splendid festivities by which it was celebrated at Ex- 
ton Park.* Addressing a company of 300 of Lord 
Gainsborough's tenantry, who sat down to dinner in 
a large marquee, he observed, with his wonted good 
humour, that " this was the largest family party he 
had ever seen." 

The following, written to his brother-in-law, Mr 
Graham, immediately after this event, gives a lively 
account of the reception of the happy couple at 
Lochnaw : — 

* LocHHAW Castlb, September II, 1846. 

"My Dear Brother, — Allow me to express my best 
thanks for all your kind entreatment of my sweet daughter. 
The happy pair arrived here exactly at the right moment; 
and having formed, as it were, a * court-yard wall* of my 

* Exton Park, Rutlandshire, the seat of the Earl of Gainsborough. 


tenants, standmg all round at the edge of the grass before 
the house (leaving the whole of the gravel circle free), and 
the empty carriage being rapidly driven away, our own 
family salutations being performed, standing on the steps of 
the porch, I introduced *to all her loving subjects' 'the 
Lady Louisa Xgnew/ which was received, as you may well 
suppose, by three hearty cheers. We had made our clumsy 
building look as like a fairy castle as we could, by a multi- 
plicity of flags of all colours on the towers^ standing out in 
all directions, and two large heraldic standards of the arms 
of Noel and Agnew, * Saltierways' across the top of the porch, 
formed the centre. We dined 120 on the terrace between 
the old tower and the lake. A lajge oval Free Church tent 
(being covered by a very large standard of the royal arms 
stretched over it) was converted into a royal pavilion, sur- 
mounted with pennons. The ladies came after dinner, when 
their healths were drank; and sweet Louisa not only curt- 
seyed, but spoke out her thanka I told them of the pledge 
which I had given to the Gainsborough tenantry for ' the 
good treatment of the noble lady,' and called on them to 
aid me as her protector, and their enthusiasm was called 
out to the uttermost 

" Stranraer was very demonstrative, by flags from the win- 
dows and crowds in the streets, as also along the line of road 
from thence hither. Every farm-house and cottage had its 
flag, and all spontaneous; and, at night, bonfires on the hilla 

" Excuse these little particulars, which will interest dear 
sister Mary and yourself — the heroine being fresh in your 
memories, and, I am sure, in your hearta I send you a 
Stranraer newspaper, although I am ashamed of the super- 
latives therein multiplied. One thing I can confirm ; the 
day was beautiful, and we have had fine weather ever 
since. — Believe me your very aflfectionate brother." 

He was delighted at the progress of Lord Ashley's 


benevolent moyements in behalf of labourers in the 
factories and mines ; and^ perceiving the connection 
between these and his own Sabbath reforms, he re- 
marks to a correspondent, " You will be glad to see 
the six days and the ten hours working together." 
We may conceive, therefore, how he would wel- 
come the encouragement conveyed in the following 
note : — 

^ BRiGBTORy Jannanf 14, 1847. 

" My Deab Sir Andrew, — ^Many thanks for the hand- 
bills. Why is so much good sense utterly unavailing? I 
have sent a copy to the Ten Hours' Advocate^ the news- 
paper of the Lancashire operatives. I have watched your 
proceedings with kind interest You have much yet to win, 
but you have also much to thank God for. The perpetual 
agitation of this question has produced a real, and, I trust, 
lasting, effect on the public morals. I well remember the 
evidence taken before our committee; and eveiy day's ex- 
perience confirms the truth and value of it. — Very truly 
yours, « Ashley." 

He had also the satisfaction of learning the suc- 
cess which had attended the efforts of Mr Swan in 
suppressing Sunday sailing : — 

** FoLKOTOiTB Harbour, 1847. 

" Dear Sir Andrew, — ^You will be truly glad to learn 
that the Sunday sailing has been discontinued at Folkstone 
and Ram^ate — a result out of all proportion to the osten- 
sible cause. I suspect I am reaping the firuit of other men's 
labours. — I am, dear sir, yours very truly, 

" Alexander Swan." 

The engaging spectacle of young m?n devoting 
themselves to the cause of religion had a peculiar 

400 roiTNG men's sabbath societt. 

charm for Sir Andrew. The only occasion on which 
he broke through his ordinary rules, and occasioned 
thereby some anxiety to his household, by remaining 
out late, even beyond midnight, was one night that 
he attended a meeting of young men, preliminary to 
the formation of the "Young Men's Sabbath Ob- 
servance Society," in the beginning of 1847. He 
returned home quite delighted with the ardour and 
piety which they manifested, and ever afterwards took 
an affectionate interest in the society. They, on their 
part, retain a lively recollection of the encouragement 
they received, both from his converse and his efforts. 
" I can vouch for this," says their secretary, " that 
every victory he achieved at the railway meetings 
was regarded by us as a triumph; and, acting bs a 
buoy against discouragement, stimulated us on to 
more energetic exertions." 

About the same time, he was further gratified by 
the fonnation of the " Sabbath Alliance " — an institu- 
tion in which Christians ofMifferent denominations 
are combined in defence of the Sabbath, and which 
may be fairly regarded as one of the fruits of his 
persevering labours. And here we cannot refrain 
from remarking that, in his connection with this so- 
ciety, he gave one of the most unequivocal proofs of 
his disinterested zeal in the cause of the Sabbath. 
Marked out, as he had hitherto been, as a leader in 
that cause, he cordially agreed, when that honour 
was withheld from him, to fag in its service as a 
member of committee ; and although prevented by 
its constitution from bringing legislation to the aid 


of the Sabbath — ^the field in which he had gained his 
honours and borne his reproach — ^he was now willing 
to co-operate even with those to whom these honours 
and that reproach were perhaps alike ungrateful, and 
to hold his views on Sabbath legislation in abeyance, 
while promoting, in conjunction with them, the prac- 
tical observance of that holy day. He was a stranger 
to the vanity of aspiring to be the leader of a band 
of obsequious followers, and only took the leadership 
when it was the butt of scorn fully as much as the 
post of honour. In connection with this Alliance, 
however, he had the pleasure of working with many 
who were like-minded ; and, among these, with his 
excellent friend the secretary, Dr R. K. Greville, 
whose steady and sterling zeal in the Sabbath move- 
ment is beyond all praise. 

By nothing was the equanimity of his excellent 
temper in more danger of being disturbed, than by 
seeing good men prevented, and preventing others, 
from coming forward in behalf of the Sabbath, by in- 
dulging "squeamish" scruples about the only means 
by which it could be effectually screened from injury. 
Hearing that an estimable English clergyman had 
written that he "never could advise his Christian 
friends to invest money in railways while the Lord's- 
day traffic was a part of their gains," but concluded 
the same letter with the remark, " What a blessing, 
if Scotland's example stir up England ! " he thus ex- 
presses himself: — 

"April 2, 1847. — There was once a poet who wrote 
verses with such excellent ingenuity, that they read back- 

2 C 


wards and forwards the same. Not so the oomposition of 
the more excellent Mr ; for if you will read the in- 
closed note fix)m him backwards — that is to say, if you will 
read the last words first, and so upwards— it furnishes a 
reply to the same note when read from the beginning and 
downwards. This squeamishness about holding shares, I 
never experienced. We know that sea-sickness is cured 
when shipwreck is apprehended ; and so the scruples of 
conscience about scrip in Sabbath-breaking railways is effec- 
tually overcome by the more paramount conscientiousness 
produced by the alarm lest the Sabbath should be lost in a 
sea of sin. The same scruples might be elicited in every 
other branch of commerce, if all its Sabbath-breakings were 
brought to the light — ^the difference being that the railway 
cannot be hid."* 

^^ February 14, 1848. — ^This ridiculous scrupulosity of 
Voluntaryism can only be met by an understanding of mu- 
tual forbearance; and as the forbearance is generally all on 
one side, you will require to be constantly on the watch to 
take care of your own. The chief safeguard is, a full and 
distinct understanding, that, while within the Sabbath Al- 
liance, you walk together as far as you are agreed ; you are, 
each and all, at the same time, to retain full possession of 
your civil liberty to act otherwise out of the Alliance, as 
you feel disposed. 

" I walked this afternoon to the station of the Caledonian 
Railway, and saw great arrangements for the opening of the 
line to-morrow. And with all this apparatus for producing 
as much travelling in six days as formerly could be done in 
a month, I feel quite overwhelmed by the wantonness, and 
deliberativeness, and determinate resolve, to set both the 
habits of the country and the law of God at defianca This 

* To his brother-in-law, Thomas Henry Graham, Esq., of Edmond 
Castle^ Carlisle. 


18 sinning with a giant's hand ! And is all this the doing 
of good Christian gentlemen, your friends and mine!"* 

As we approach the time of Sir Andrew's decease^ 
his labours^ instead of diminishing, appear to multi- 
ply. Letters pour in upon him in greater profusion 
than ever, and his own mind appears more active and 
prolific than at any former era of his life. At the 
same time, from the nature of the work in which he 
was employed, these efforts, valuable as they were 
from the end to which they were devoted, were not of 
such a kind as to impart interest to a narrative. They 
deserve our notice chiefly as showing that he was 
honoured to "finish his course" as he began it; 
fighting the good fight, keeping the faith," and 
doing whatsoever his hand found to do with all 
his might.*' 

Suffice it, then, to say that, after the success on 
the Glasgow line. Sir Andrew now qualified himself 
as a shareholder, to carry his testimony against 
Sunday traffic on the Caledonian and the Scottish 
Central railways. At the half-yearly meeting of the 
former railway, which has always kept up the Sab- 
bath trade. Sir Andrew persevered, notwithstanding 
all the manoeuvres employed to put him down, and 
personal rudeness of such a kind that he was obliged 
to say, that " really he had never in his life met with 
such interruptions before." In September 1847, 
he published "A Letter on the Responsibilities of 
Railway Directors and all Shareholders, members of 
Christian Churches, addressed to the Most Noble the 

♦ To the same. 


Marquess of Breadalbane^ Chairman of the Scottish 
Central Railway Company." In this letter, his great 
object is to impress the consciences of all connected 
with railwa3r8. He adverts to the startling but unde- 
niable fact, that Parliament, by "enfranchising money 
speculators, has placed the religion and morality of 
the localities of railways in the hands of the men 
of money, of any and all opinions.'* He then points 
out the danger arising from the want of conscien- 
tiousness manifested by men in their corporate ca- 
pacity — ^' the board, as a board, having neither soul 
nor conscience." And he urges on his lordship to 
use the influence of " his high rank and station, his 
high character and talents, and his high position 
in the church and in the railway companies," to 
'* defend, at this crisis, the religious habits of our 
beloved land from the reckless influence of the love 
of gain." 

In the whole course of these railway labours. Sir 
Andrew displayed his wonted character. The fol- 
lowing testimony is borne by one * who had the best 
opportunities of observing him in the latter period 
of his life, being closely associated with him in his 
campaign against the desecration of the Sabbath on 
railways : — 

" I think the characteristic for which Sir Andrew was most 
remarkable was perseveranca That he had that grace given 
him to no ordinary extent, every one must have observed 
who noticed his public Ufa But they only knew its whole 
power who were in the custom of communicating in private 

* James Balfour, Jun., Esq., W.S. 


with him on the Sabbath cause. Nothing was able to sub- 
due him — ^neither the argument of his opponents, nor their 
ridicule, nor their ribaldry, nor the lukewannness of his 
friends, nor what he considered the too lax views of many of 
them. The want of success could not do it The interest of 
other objects, and the excitement of other pursuits, could 
not do it. Again and again have I seen him, when we were 
all flagging, come forward to re-assure us. When others 
seemed tired of the subject, he was, as it were, beginning it 

'* Another great feature of his character was his meekness 
and gentlemanly bearing. He never made any enemies, and 
yet there were few men who had more ; but they were the 
enemies of his Master, and hated him for His sake. I re- 
member, at a railway meeting, hearing one of the bitterest of 
his opponents acknowledge Hhat the honourable baronet had 
introduced his motion as he always did every thing — quite 
like a gentleman.' Nothing could be finer than his whole 
conduct at these meetings. He was always firm, almost to 
obstinacy; but never violent. He spoke home to the con- 
science with great power, and relied mainly on his moral ar- 
guments, but were never personal. He was never dismayed 
by defeat; and, when victory came, he never forgot to ac- 
knowledge that the credit of it was due, not to him, but to 
One who made it manifest that it was now ' time for Him 
to work, for men were making void His law.' 

"His industry in the cause of the Sabbath was won- 
derful He did not, as some who take a prominent part in 
public measures, satisfy himself with appearing on field-days. 
On the contrary, I am persuaded that you will now be find- 
ing among his papers proofs of the unwearied assiduity and 
ceaseless labour which he devoted to his great subject" 

The public labours of our Sabbath champion were 
now fast drawing to a close. In September 1848^ 


he offered three prizes to the working men of the 
Rhins of Galloway for the three best essays on the 
Sabbath, on the same principle with the plan of IVIr 
Henderson of Park, whose efforts in this department 
of the cause have been so praiseworthy ; but, ere the 
time fixed for distributing these prizes arrived, Sir 
Andrew had gone to his rest, and the duty devolved 
on his son, the present baronet. In the beginning 
of 1849, he drew up the form of a petition against 
Mr Locke's bill for compelling railways to traffic on 
the Sabbath ; his last act, on his deathbed, was to 
sign this petition ; and the ominous coincidence be- 
tween the introduction of this disgraceful measure 
with the death of Sir Andrew, formed the subject 
of grave reflection to many. 

On Monday, February 2G, Sir Andrew attended 
a meeting of the Caledonian Railway in Edinburgh. 
On Tuesday, he went to Perth, to attend a meeting 
of the Scottish Central Railway. Hitherto, this rail- 
way had abstained from running trains on the Lord's 
day; but negotiations for a working contract had 
been entered into with the Caledonian Company, in 
the face of strong opposition, and at this meeting a 
motion was made to add passenger carriages to the 
mail train. One of the speakers having charged Sir 
Andrew with repudiating the contract, as *' coming 
into collision with his peculiar dogma," and com- 
pared him to the Papists, who hold no agreement 
to be binding that interfered with the church. Sir 
Andrew replied, " For church read morality^ and it 
is a true maxim." Alexander Campbell, Esq., of 



Monzie, after presenting 773 memorials, proposed 
the amendment against Sunday trains ; but the mo- 
tion was carried without a discussion. On retiring 
from the place, Sir Andrew observed to his friends, 
" That he had never left a railway meeting with so 
little satisfaction ; that, on former occasions, though 
beaten, they had always the satisfaction of thinking 
that they had borne a testimony for the Sabbath; 
but that, on this occasion, people had come from a 
great distance to no purpose whatever." 

Hitherto, the health of Sir Andrew, though at no 
period robust, had enabled him to fulfil, without any 
serious interruptions, the ordinary business of life. 
Several incidents might have been mentioned, to 
show the truth of the adage, that every man is im- 
mortal till his work is done. On one occasion, that 
of the king's visit in 1823, he narrowly escaped ship- 
wreck, by being providentially kept from embarking 
in the Earl of Moira packet, which foundered at sea, 
and went down with nearly all her passengers. On 
another occasion, when prosecuting his canvass, his 
career as a legislator was nearly cut short by the vessel 
in which he sailed coming into fearful collision with a 
revenue cutter. But his most remarkable escape of 
this kind, was made in Glasgow, in 1844, when the 
Sabbath-trading shareholders were very nearly re- 
lieved from all further annoyance, so far as Sir 
Andrew was concerned, by his being run over by a 
carriage on turning the corner of a street. How he 
escaped, he was never able to tell. His only recol- 


lection was, that when lying on his back, under the 
cab, with a wheel on each side of him, and the horses' 
heels in alarming proximity to his head, the thought 
passed through his mind, '^ What a singular position 
to be in ! " 

He had now only reached the age of fifty-six ; but 
already he had begun to experience symptoms of 
failing strength. To the inquiry of one of his sons 
after his general health, on the night of the meet- 
ing at Perth, he repUed, that •' he felt growing old, 
and he found life precarious, and that he wished he 
saw younger men taking an active interest in the 

To the infection of scarlet fever, he had been re- 
peatedly exposed in his own family; but though con- 
stantly waiting on the sufferers, he had never caught 
it. If ow, however, without having been consciously 
exposed to any infection, and at a time of life when 
it seldom attacks the frame, he was destined to fall 
a victim to that distemper. On Wednesday the 
28th of April, he returned from Perth, and on Thurs- 
day, though he felt unwell, he went about as usual, 
making preparations for attending the meeting of 
the Edinburgh and Glasgow Bailway on Friday, and 
thereafter proceeding to Lochnaw to superintend 
some improvements. His last work was looking 
after the preparation of an article connected with 
the Sabbath, which was to appear in the newspapers. 
On visiting a friend during the same day, he com- 
plained of exhaustion, and his friend remonstrated with 
him for over-working himself. On reaching home, he 


was suffering from extreme lassitude ; and next morn- 
ing, being Friday, he awoke with his throat unusually 
swelled, feeling, he said, " as if it were walled up ; " 
so thaty he added, with a decision which convinced 
his family that he must be ill indeed, ^Ho go to 
Glasgow to attend this meeting is just impossible." 
Still, however, though unable to rise, he continued 
for several hours to dictate letters on the railway 
business. As he got worse, his medical attendant, 
Dr Henderson, was summoned, and pronounced the 
disease to be a sharp attack of scarlet fever. Lady 
Agnew, who constantly attended on her husband^ 
was seized nearly a fortnight after with the same 
malady ; and soon after, another of the family was 
laid up. From fear of infection, no one came near 
the house ; and the family was, for a while, left alone 
in the midst of the crowded city. With the excep- 
tion of the servant and nurse that waited on him, 
and the doctor's daily visits. Sir Andrew was now 
left to himself. It seemed as if the Lord were taking 
him aside, and dealing with him alone and apart 
from all earthly ties, before the last separation, which 
was close at hand. Ten days had thus elapsed ere 
he was able to visit the sick-room of his lady, who 
was shocked at his altered and somewhat haggard 
appearance, but still entertained no alarm. 

Soon after this, however, on the 10th April, he had 
a serious relapse, and was laid on the bed from which 
he never rose. During this period of intense anguish 
and anxiety. Lady Agnew, who was now sufficiently 
recovered to wait upon her dying husband, was his 


constant and almost sole companion. To her, there- 
fore, we are indebted for all we know of his last 
moments, a record of which she has fortunately pre- 
served, and kindly permitted to be appended to 
these memoirs. To these interesting and aflTecting 
details, we feel it would be presumptuous and unne- 
cessary to add any thing here. Suffice it, then, to 
say, that Sir Andrew manifested to the end the same 
composure, meekness, and lovingness, which had 
characterised him during life. The approach of 
death, which, from the commencement of his illness 
he apprehended as a not unlikely termination of it, 
had no disturbing effect on his mind, which was filled 
with the consolations and hopes of the gospel. Nor 
did the near prospect of eternity diminish, in his 
eyes, the importance of the sacred cause to which he 
had devoted his utmost energies. To the last, the 
Sabbath was the object nearest his heart, and upper- 
most in his thoughts. He had lived as its cham- 
pion, and he may be said to have died as its martyr. 
His strength had been spent in its service, and an 
incident connected with it, proved the immediate 
occasion of the last access of the malady which cut 
him off. When enjoying a refreshing slumber, a 
paper was brought to him for his signature, being a 
requisition to the Lord Provost to call a meeting to 
petition against Mr Locke's biU. Having overheard 
the message, he raised himself in bed, called for pen 
and ink, and appended his signature, observing, with a 
smile, how firmly it was written for a sick man. It was 
the last he was ever to write ! Immediately he felt an 


oppression in his breathing, and the sensation was as 
if something had " given way at the heart." This 
was followed by acute suffering, which he bore with the 
most exemplary resignation. But ere Jong, all pain, 
all suffering, ceased, and he was privileged at length 
to depart in peace. He died on the evening of Thurs- 
day, April 12, 1849. 

The result of a post-mortem examination showed, 
that the immediate cause of Sir Andrew's death was 
a disease of the heart, very similar to that which had 
so lately before cut off Dr Chalmers. The symptoms 
of this insidious malady having only discovered them- 
selves two days before, the family were unprepared 
for the catastrophe, and thrown into the deepest 
affliction by the sudden removal of one with whom 
their souls seemed to be bound in the same " bundle 
of life," and with whom they had fondly hoped to 
spend many happy days. 

!N"or was the public less taken by surprise. The 
news of Sir Andrew's death came upon all as an event 
they had never anticipated : upon the hearts of all 
good men, they fell heavily as the sound of approach- 
ing judgment. The organs of public opinion ex- 
pressed, almost unanimously, their admiration of his 
character, and regret for his loss. ]^umerous letters 
of condolence, from individuals, from societies, and 
from churches, were kindly addressed to the be- 
reaved widow and family — all breathing sentiments 
of the highest respect and Christian sympathy. 

The friends of the Sabbath, including the great 
body of the religious pubUc, being anxious to testify 


their respect for the memory of one who was identi- 
fied in their minds with the cause of Scotland's Sab- 
bath, a requisition was addressed to the family that 
they would allow a public funeral, and that his re- 
mains, instead of being carried to the grave of his 
fathers, might be deposited beside those of the noble- 
minded Speirs and the illustrious Chalmers. To this 
request, though it was felt to be a sad disappointment 
to his friends and to his numerous tenantry, the 
family was induced to yield, reconciled by the re- 
flection, that though separated from the graves of his 
natural ancestry, his dust would repose, in appropriate 
companionship, with that of those with whom in life 
he could boast a still more honourable kindred. In 
consequence, the funeral took place in Edinburgh, on 
Thursday the 19th of April. 

The following graphic account of the funeral formed 
the introduction of an interesting article on the sub- 
ject of these memoirs, from the pen of Mr Hugh 
Miller : — * 

" The funeral of Sir Andrew Agnew took place, as inti- 
mated, on the morning of Thursday; and, with the* excep- 
tion of that of Chahners — which has never had any parallel 
in Scotland, and never again may — it was one of the most 
remarkable ever witnessed in this city. The streets, for a 
distance of at least two miles, were thickly lined with spec- 
tators ; and the procession, which was of such imposing length 
that there were few points from which it could be viewed as 
a whole, was composed of the most respectable citizens of 
Edinburgh — ^members of all the evangelical churches, who 
bad taken this way of testifying their regard for the remains 

. * From the Witness of April 21, 1849. 


and the memoiy of a man who had stamped Iub name upon a 
great religious movement, unsurpassed in importance in the 
history of the Christian church in Scotland. 

" The morning of Thursday, though the day daikened and 
roughened as it wore later, was clear and fine, and the sun 
shone brightly out in the burying-ground, as the long array 
of the funeral entered, and defiled along the walks. It was 
an imposing spectacle. The surroimding eminences thickly 
streaked with snow, — the sward still crisp with the morning 
frost, — the distant city, enveloped, in the calm, in its pale 
mantle of smoke, — the trees still leafless and hoar,— =-and ve- 
getation every where blanched and repressed by the chills of 
the ungenial spring, — ^bore all a Ughter and fainter tint than 
that which they usually wear, and imparted to the general 
groundwork of the landscape a dim and neutral tone, like 
that of an unfinished drawing. And on this blanched ground 
the numerous figures in black which thronged the wide area 
of the cemeteiy stood out in striking relief, like the shaded 
outlines of the limner on his tablets of a paley grey. The 
long overhanging range of vaults was crowded with specta- 
tors; the place, too, in which the grave was opened was 
peculiarly suggestive; for the massive tomb of Clialmers, 
inscribed with true taste, as if in illustration of the striking 
sentiment of the poet, with but the name of the illustrious 
dead, rose almost immediately over it — 

' My epitaph shall he my name alone ; 
If that with honour fail to crown my clay, 
O, may no other meed my deeds repay ! 
That, only that, shall single out the spot, — 
By that remembered, or with that forgot/ 

All served to show that the deceased, whose obsequies so many 
had assembled to honour, had been no conmion man, and had 
accomplished no common work. The imposing array was 
representative — even more decidedly than that which the 


funeral of Chalmers had exhibited — of a great principle and 
great cause." 

What stamped upon this assemblage its pecu* 
liar character was the perfect spontaneousness of 
the demonstration. Ifo means were needed to get 
it up. The simple announcement of its publicity 
was suflBcient to elicit this heartfelt tribute of pub- 
lic respect. At a meeting of friends, held after 
the funeral, it was agreed to set on foot a general 
subscription for a suitable monument, to Sir An- 
drew's memory ; and we rejoice to say that the de- 
sign is now on the eve of being carried into effect, 
by the erection of a simple and massive monument, 
bearing, as its inscription, the motto of his life — 
" Remember the Sabbath-Day." 

The author of these memoirs does not think it 
necessary to close them with any formal or elaborate 
character of the deceased baronet. He has failed in 
his object, if he has not succeeded in conveying to 
his readers, through the history of the life, a com- 
plete idea of the man. Instead of drawing a portrait, 
he has merely permitted the sun-light of truth to 
fall on the features of Sir Andrew, in the various 
attitudes of his busy and useful career; and thus 
transferred to his pages a sort of calotype likeness, 
which, whatever may be thought of it as a piece of 
art, possesses, at least, the recommendation of being 
true to nature. He cannot, however, refrain from 
enriching his pages with the following eloquent tri- 
bute to the memory of Sir Andrew, delivered by the 


Eev. Dr Candlish, in a sermon preached after the 
funeral^ April 22: — 

'' Thus has gone to his long home one of Scotland s hest 
aristocracy! faithful among the faithless, in whom has been 
ennobled a name, already by ancestry illustrious, by the re- 
cord of it in God 8 book above, and in the grateful hearts of 
God's people and their seed for generations here below. 
And if a single eye, a simple aim, a sincere heart, be rare 
and precious blessings in this world of falsehood, selfishness, 
and strife, there is a loss mourned this day that cannot be 
soon repaired. 

" No man of merely one idea was the standard-bearer who 
has now fallen ; his eye ranged over the whole field of the 
Lord's battle, and his ready affections went forth towards all 
who, in any righteous cause, were glorifying God and peril- 
ing themselves. But a man of one idea he emphatically 
waSy in the grasp he ever held fast of the banner given him 
to unfurl, and the tenacity with which he refused ever to 
relax his hold for any other consideration whatever, whether 
of policy, or piety, or peace. Nor was his firmness marred 
by any vehemence of passion, or surly obstinacy of dogged 
selfishness or pride. Never man of milder temper, more 
amiable manners, less irritating to enemies, more generously 
kind to friends, more uniformly courteous to all. None ever 
saw him ruffled, impatient, angry, resentful: yet none ever 
saw him yield ; for he knew his own mind, or rather the 
mind of his God ; and like a rock he stood amid whatever 
storms raged around him, as calm and cool, yet as un- 
moved ! 

" What services he has been enabled to render by raising 
the tone of Sabbath observance in the church, seciuing 
attention to this neglected duty in high places, and stem- 
ming the tide of ungodly profanity setting in over the land, 
and how these services are connected with the channel 


through which grace reached his soul in the voice of the 
preacher, ' Remember the Sabbath/ and the reward of gloiy 
hereafter to be bestowed on him by the Lord of the Sabbath, 
— ^the great day will reveaL Let it only be remembered now, 
that he leaned not, in life or in death, on any of those ser- 
vices for which Christian men justly honoured him, for peace 
or hope ; he owned himself saved by grace alone, and through 
grace alone he looked for glory. Of him, and of such as 
him, it may be said, they are gone, — they rest from much 
weary, thankless toU. They are with Christ in glory, hid- 
den till the resurrection mom; when it will be found that 
of all they ever did or suffered for Christ, — ^however it might 
seem at the time toil and suffering throwu away, — nothing 
has been lost." 

To this beautiful sketch, the writer of these 
pages will only add, that there are few characters 
indeed, in describing which the delineator is less 
in danger of allowing honest eulogy to degenerate 
into empty panegyric. Sir Andrew Agnew was, in 
this respect, a type of his own much-loved Day — 
so saintly, and at the same time, so humane, that, in 
describing the man and the Christian, we are natu- 
rally induced to borrow our phrases and imagery 
from the Sabbath, and we feel that we are doing no 
more than justice to his character, when we apply to 
him the attributes of heaven-descended wisdom — 


It is not easy to estimate the amount of service 
rendered by Sir Andrew to the cause of religion and 
humanity. These pages contain ample proof of the 


share which he had in reviving the spirit and raising 
the standard of Sabbath observance throughout the 
country. It has been well observed, that " he created 
the Sabbath question as one of separate and inde* 
pendent interest." And, without doubt, it is to his 
untiring energy and quenchless zeal that we are in- 
debted, under God, for the strenuous opposition which 
had been made of late years against the advancing 
tide of Sabbath desecration. To those who disregard 
the Sabbath, or entertain lax views of its obligations, 
these efforts will, of course, appear worthless, if not 
positively censurable. To those who value the Sab- 
bath, they will be held as enhanced in dignity and in 
importance by the grandeur of the object to which 
they were devoted. By the one class, his name 
may become a byword of reproach. By the other, 
he will be ranked among 'Hhe sacramental host," 
who "through faith have subdued kingdoms, wrought 
righteousness, out of weakness were made strong, 
waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of 
the aliens." 

Independently, however, of religion, and looking 
merely to secular results, few enlightened philanthro- 
pists will deny that the man who has succeeded in 
bringing up the public conscience to a loftier sense of 
Sabbath obligation, thereby elevating the general tone 
of morals, as well as doing so much to procure for all 
the benefits of an hebdomadal day of rest, is justly 
entitled to be numbered among the benefactors of so- 
ciety. The labouring classes, in particular, are largely 
indebted to the disinterested labours of Sir Andrew. 

2 D 


Their wants^ their hardships, and their real welfare, 
were always nearest to his heart ; and whether they 
may succeed in securing for their oppressed brethren 
the luxury of the " one day in seven," or failing in 
this, may themselves be plunged deeper down in 
hopeless and ceaseless drudgery, they may have cause 
to remember with gratitude his disinterested efforts 
in their behalf. ''And now that he has fallen in 
harness in the thick of the yet undecided contest, it 
more than ever becomes men, who have the cause at 
heart, to strive to compensate, by fresh and united 
efforts, for a loss so great. The best monument to 
the memory of Sir Andrew Agnew that his friends 
could possibly erect, would be the triumph, on a 
national basis, of those sacred principles, to the 
assertion of which his life was devoted."* 

But it were unfair to measure the value of Sir 
Andrew's services by what he was able to effect dur- 
ing his brief lifetime. Symptoms are not awanting 
of a revival on the Continent of the principles for 
which he contended. The hearts of Christian churches 
at home have been stirred to their depths in sym- 
pathy with his sacred mission. He has, moreover, 
succeeded in linking the Sabbath to the advancing 
causes of freedom, of temperance, of education, of 
moral and civic improvement. Henceforth the Sab- 
bath will, without fail, take its place in the heavenly 
train along with those schemes of beneficence which, 
aiming at "glory to God in the highest," breathe 
" peace and goodwill toward man," and which, scat- 

* Prom the Witness, as above. 


tering blessings around them as they advance, may 
usher in the glories of the latter day. 

** The time of rest, the promised Sabbath comes I 
Six thousand years of sorrow have wellnigh 
Fulfilled their tardy and disastrous course 
Over a sinful world ; and what remains 
Of this tempestuous state of human things. 
Is merely as the working of a sea 
Before a calm, that rocks itself to rest." 



10 THE 




^ I bless Thee for the quiet rest thy servant taketh now — 
I bless Thee for his blessedness, and for his crownM brow — 
For everjr weary step he trod in faithful following Thee, 
And for the good fight foughten well — and closed right valiantly I 


BEHinXT six and seven o'clock on Thursday evening, April 
12, 1849, my blessed husband expired in my arms. Sad 
and sorrowful bjs was the parting scene, I thank Qod that I 
can say, " It wajs a blessed day -," and that I can dwell on 
it with the feeling of joy and thankfulness, that the Lord 
was near to us, and that He heard every prayer, save one, 
which He could not grant — the prolonging of that precious 

On being sufEciently recovered to wait upon him, he told 
me, in the course of our conversations, that during those 
solitary days and hours, when he was left so entirely to him- 
self, he had had many searchings of heart, going back over 
all his former life — seeing all his fEiults and shortcomings in 
the days of his youth, and in his riper yeara He seemed 

* Laift of th4 Kirk and Covenant. By Mrs Alexander Stnart Menteath. 


much solemnized, as he spoke of things which he would 
not do, if he had the power to recall them now, and how 
the thoughtlessness of a few years might embitter after-lifa 
Elnowing that he was always severe upon his own failings, 
I suggested that he was not so much to blame — ^that he 
meant well — and that in some of those matters he referred 
to, he was '* more sinned against than sinning." " But," he 
replied, " God does not send us these chastisements without 
cause, and it well becomes us to search and try our ways, 
that we may see and mourn over all that has been amiss, 
and pray to be kept from such evil in time to come. I 
know," he added, " that it does not affect our justification 
in the sight of God. I bless God that * there is forgiveness 
with Him/ and that it rests upon the sure foundation of 
Christ's death and Christ's merits alone; but that blessed 
assurance should not make us the less anxious to search our 
hearts and try our ways." I acquiesced, remmding him of 
a favourite passage in a little tract, " Let sin break thy 
heart, but not thy hope in the gospel" 

Soon after this I found him busily reading the '' life and 
Times of Philip Henry" (published by Nelson). He was 
greatly pleased with it " Passing strange," he said, " that 
any government should have wished to exclude such a man 
as that I Bead his life, and you will see with what inge- 
nuity tests and acts seem to have been framed with the ex- 
press purpose of forcing out men of such a stamp as the 
gentle, the forbearing Philip Henry. Oh ! when will they 
be wise!" he fervently exclaimed, " when will they become 
wise, and instead of ingeniously keeping good and conscien- 
tious men out, delight to employ them in the church and 
in the state ! Never, I suppose, till the millennium, when 
there shall reign a Just One, ruling in the fear of the Lord/' 
And here I must mention, for truth requires it, that Sir 
Andrew was, to use the words of the excellent Augustus 

SIR Andrew's deathbed. 423 

Toplady, " one of those old-fashioned people who believed in 
a millenniunL" His views on this subject coincided with 
those of Dr Chalmers, and, like him, he took them simply 
from Scriptura He was not fond of controversy, and, 
therefore, as all are not agreed about these views, he never 
entered into disputation about them, but would hand them 
over to othera 

We did not take alarm at the progress of his disease till 
within two days of his departure, not knowing the nature of 
the concealed complaints within ; but I was aware that he 
himself often thought it would end in death. His manner 
was solemn, and he seemed preparing for another world 
His perception of what was wrong was keener, his aspira- 
tions after a higher tone of personal and family religion were 
higher, and he seemed becoming daily more fitted for a 
better world, and more unfitted for the present He was 
often in prayer. One day he spoke to me of the Lord's 
Prayer, which he loved much, though averse to the frequent 
repetition of it as a mere matter of form. He dwelt on its 
comprehensiveness, though consisting of so few words, and 
on its breathing such desire after Qod's glory ; and remarked 
how few and simple were the petitions for man — -just three 
— ^for daily bread, forgiveness, and deliverance from evil ; 
which three things, savouring of sin and want, he will only 
need to pray for during this state of imperfection. " Did it 
never occur to you," he said, " to try how beautiful and how 
complete is the prayer without them V* He then, slowly 
and emphatically, repeated it thus : — 

" Our Father which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy 
kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. For 
thine u the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. 

" Is it not beautiful V* he said, on coming to the conclu- 
sion; and he lay for some time seemingly wrapt in the silent 


contemplation of the coming gloiy. I have thought since 
that he was even then preparing for the worship of heaven ; 
dropping out of his devotions all that pertained to earth, 
and retaining only those aspirations in which the church 
above can yet join with the church below. 

Until the last two days of suffering, while he yet lingered 
with us on earth, he never failed, ere I parted with him for 
the night, and still retaining my hand in his, and without 
any preparation, to break out into the language of prayer, 
pleading for himself and for all dear to him with most 
affectionate earDestnes& His tongue was loosed, and he 
seemed to be at home in prayer, beyond what I had ever 
before witnessed ; involuntarily reminding me of the beauti- 
ful lines of Montgomery: — 

'^ Prayer is the Christian's vital breath. 
The Christian's native air ; 
His watchword at the gates of death — 
He enters heaven by prayer.*' 

I thought I had fixed in my memory some of the soul- 
elevating expressions he used in his aspirations after holiness 
and likeness to God; but sorrow effiu;ed, and I cannot recall 
them. Humility was the most striking feature in these 
prayers ; but, indeed, he seemed growing in every grace, 
and ripening fast for heaven. In love to God, and in love 
to man, he grew daily. He seemed also, more than ever, to 
enter into and admire the depths of that "great love where- 
with God hath loved us." " Behold, what manner of love 
the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called 
the sons of God " — (1 John iiL 1 ) — was the last sweet por- 
tion from the Bible that I was privileged to read to him ; 
and he marvelled over it. A little before, having read to 
him from the Gospels of the woman charged with adultery, 
whom they brought to Jesus, when I came to the verse, 
" Neither do I condemn thee ; go, and sin no more," I 



looked up, and the tears were in his eyea " How touching! 
how encouraging !" he said. 

I hardly ever left him, and he often thanked me, and 
seemed surprised that I was so anidous about him. Alas ! 
the doctors gave me no hope of keeping him long, and 
every moment seemed precious. It was amongst God's 
many mercies that he did not know his end was so near as 
it proved to be ; he was not in any way agitated, therefore, 
but talked calmly of life or death as God saw best '' His 
will must be best. His will be done." He imagined, pre- 
sent danger and alarm was past, but he always considered 
this fever was a serious thing at his age (only 56 in March), 
and that it was a call to him " to set his house in order," 
and to prepare for a summons hence ere very long. This 
presentiment I often combated. He desired, if it was God s 
will, to set his worldly aflEairs in order before going hence. 
His labours in the Sabbath cause often left him Httle time for 
that; we therefore talked of this, but we talked more of 
the earnest desire, aftier this illness, we both felt to live 
more to God's glory, devoted to Him, close to Him, that 
our last years might be our best years, that whatever we did 
it should be with a view to God's glory — not our own plea- 
sure or gratification ! " O yes," he said, with such earnest- 
ness, " that is the difficulty, but with God's help we will ! " 
He so enjoyed the idea of the sweet and quiet spring and 
siunmer we should, please God, enjoy at Lochnaw and 
Larbrax* this year ! But it was not so to be ! 

When first, on Tuesday night (the 10th of April), the 
distressing, and as I found alarming, symptoms of great 
difficulty in breathing came on, accompanied with a sort of 
spasm of the chest, he expressed a great desire for the doc- 
tor to come. I had sent for him, but the symptoms were 

* A cottage close to the sea^ built by Sir Andrew for the health of 
his children. 


not so uigent when I wrote, and therefore he did not come 
till between nine and ten o'clock. As it was half-past six 
when this came on, the time seemed long indeed, and I 
said — " Oh ! if the doctor would but come ;" he looked at 
me calmly, and said slowly, " He will come in God's good 
time." "Thank you," I said, "for that good word, and 
thank God for giving you patience — ^you never complain." 
He answered in the words of Scripture, " Let not a living 
nian complain, a man for the punishment of his sin&" The 
doctor came between nine and ten, and was astonished at 
the new and alarming state he found him in; for the first 
time he spoke of danger, almost immediate danger ; he 
called for brandy and hot bottles, with flannel, to keep up 
the circulatioa A profuse perspiration had come on, but 
the extremities were cold, and the pulse, it seems, veiy low. 
The doctor dreaded water on the chest, and, as he told me 
afterwards, thought he had not half an hour to liva The 
remedies, however, took effect in a little, most wonderfully. 

When I returned at six in the morning of Wednesday, 
the doctor told me that Sir Andrew had had a much better 
night than he could possibly have expected ; had slept a 
little, and the breathing seemed right again ; that what he 
now feared was the lungs or heart being afifected ; that he 
thought he had detected slight inflammation on the lungs ; 
but that that, though alarming, was a more manageable 
thing than water on the chest He proved right in this, but 
the inflammation of the lungs and pleura was very slight, as 
it was found afterwards, and a complaint in the heart, similar 
to Dr Chalmers's and to that of Dr A. Thomson, was what 
at last so suddenly and painlessly caused his deatL 

Alas I it was but a few minutes after the doctor was gone 
that this oppression returned worse than ever, and although 
he was with us immediately, yet the same remedies that 
had before overcome it, refused now to produce any eflfect 


The noise the breathing made was painful to hear, the 
oppression was great, and the breathing short and difficult 
These houiB on Wednesday forenoon were the most painful 
he had to endure. I was now dreadfully alarmed ; and he 
said to me, " Oh ! if I could but get a little rest, should it 
please God to take me — ^if only I might have a rest first, and 
be able to talk to you." I said, " You will get it, I doubt 
not ; let us pray for it ;" and, shortly and incoherently, I did 
call on God for it Not knowing how near his end might be, 
after a while, I said — I could not help saying it — " Dearest, 
I wish much to ask your forgiveness for any thing in which 
I have ever distressed you." He said, " Do not agitate me, 
dearest; do not agitate me. If it were not for that, I too 
would ask your forgiveness." I answered, " Truly, you have 
no cause ;" and, seeing it did agitate him, I said no more. 
Dr Henderson proposed dry cupping to relieve the chest, and 
taking a little blood to keep down some slight inflammation. 
Sir A. at once consented to this, bore the painful operation 
manfully, holding my hand all the time ; and afterwards 
he so courteously thanked the cupper, as he passed his bed 
to go, that I could not help saying, " I wondered he should 
so thank the man who had put him to so much pain." He 
smiled, and told the doctor and me that there was a super* 
stition in Ireland, that whoever was bled for the first time in 
his Ufe was certain to recover. " Now," he said, " I never was 
bled before." The doctor said, " I am sure I trust it may be 
your case. Sir Andrew." He continued talking to me jokingly 
about who had first told him this in Ireland. He said, ''Was 
the doctor much alarmed about me last night ?" I said he 
was, and that the poor boys and I were also much distressed ; 
that they did not go to bed till he was better, and then they 
came to his door to get back what pillows and bolsters he did 
not require. He smiled at the idea of their having all " sub- 
scribed their own pillows and bolsters" for him. I told him 


that Dr Henderson had proposed getting more advice, but 
that I thought he would not like it. After a little, he said, 
if Dr H. wished it, he would not object. I wrote this to Dr 
H., who, coming soon after. Sir Andrew said to him, kindly, 
*^ But is not this an ungrateful return to you, Dr Henderson, 
who have attended me so affectionately and so skilfully, to 
wish to see any other doctor 1" " Not at all," Dr H replied, 
"when it was my own wish." " And do you expect any good 
result from it ? " Sir Andrew said. " If any other doctor could 
suggest what in the mean time might afford you even relief, 
I would not for the world that you should not have the benefit 
of it," Dr H. said. After this, Dr Alison was sent for. In the 
afternoon of this long day (Wednesday), Sir Andrew, wishing 
to try to sleep, I sat out of his sight ; but the breathing, 
which had at times certainly been more moderate, became 
again as bad as ever when he tried to compose himself I 
went to him, and he said to me, '' You see this baffles the 
skill of the doctors and all their medicines, and I throw my- 
self on the power of God." I think, from allusions he after- 
wards made to this, in a more incoherent manner, next day, 
that some inward conflict had taken place at this time. He 
spoke of something satanic connected with the oppressed 
state he was then in, but that he would not yield to the 
Evil One; that he had resisted, and said, "No; we re- 
ceived our faculties from God, and by His help we will keep 
them ; " and so he said he had conquered. Certain it is, 
frt)m that time he seemed perfectly calm, and resigned to 
whatever was God's will, and in a most peaceful, heavenly 
frame of mind. When distressed with the difficult breathing, 
I oflen said to him, " But your mind is in peace?" " O, yes," 
he always answered, " in perfect peace !" " Thou wilt keep 
him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee," I 
repeated from Isaiah, " because he trusteth in Thee." To 
this he responded most warmly. 


At one time, when his sufferings were at the greatest, 
from the laboured breathing, he looked at me very wistfully. 
He could not speak without difficulty, but he just said, 
"You will be good to my poor boys — you will be kind 
to my children V " O yes \" I quickly answered, knowing 
but too well what he meant by that, and that he was look- 
ing forward to my being their only parent Some little 
time after, and when easier, he said to me, as my head was 
dose to his, " I did think at one time that Qod was about 
to remove me speedily, thus punishing me for my procrasti- 
nation, and not giving me time ' to set my house in order,' 
but I think now He mU give me time for that" I hoped 
indeed He would; but my dear husband was always too 
ready to blame himself. Again, alluding to his never hav- 
ing had a refreshing deep or rest since he signed that paper 
relative to the Sabbath, he said to me, '' It is a mystery to 
me what could have given way when I signed that petition. 
It seemed to me as if something had given way about my 
heart I have never felt right since." And then, with his 
usual ingenuity in finding out something to blame in him- 
self, he said, " Could it be that Qod was displeased with my 

About twelve o'clock (noon) Dr Candlish, hearing how 
ill Sir Andrew was, came to see hinL He had not seen 
him before, on account of its being fever. Not to alarm him, 
I said that Dr Candlish was come to see David (who was 
ill also), and asked if he would like to see him. Very 
quickly he replied, " He is not come to see David, he is 
come to see ma Beg him to come up stairs ; only tell him 
not to be long, as I am so weak. Explain that to him." I 
did so; and he prayed shortly and fervently at his bedside, 
then rose up and repeated some texts: " This is a faithful 
saying," &c., " The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth fix)m all 
sin," and " Behold the Lamb of Qod that taketh away the 


sin of the world*' Sir Andrew shook hands affectionately 
with him aa he came in and went out, then he made me 
repeat the texts again to him, saying he had not heard them 
distinctly, but he had heard every word of the prayer. In 
the afternoon several carriages came to the door, of people 
inquiring for him, having heard, at Mr Drummond's Wed- 
nesday lecture, how ill he was, and Mr Drummond having 
most fervently prayed for him. I told him this, and the 
anxiety that was felt for him. He said, " My friends are too 
kind, too anxious about ma It only humbles me to hear of 
it." I said it was no wonder they were anxious, knowing 
the work he was engaged in, and all he had done. " Oh, 
do not flatter me!" he said so touchingly, ''do not flatter 
your old man ! It is dangerous to speak of what we have 
dona" I said, " Yes, as a ground of justification, it is dan- 
gerous; and I thank Qod you are on a far safer foundation 
than that; but, as a matter of thanksgiving and privil^^, 
to have been allowed to work for Qod — to have been, as His 
instrument, employed for Him" — "Oh, no," he said, "the 
instrument is nothing, Qod is all in all ; and He will raise 
up other instruments, doubtless. I am laid aside." This he 
had said from the beginning of his illness. 

Between six and seven in the evening Dr Alison came 
along with Dr Henderson. I followed the doctors out of the 
room. Dr Alison was not quite without hope ; and I re- 
turned to Sir Andrew with the account that he was now, 
with a view to keeping up bis strength, to get brandy, a 
dessert spoonful every half hour, and strong soup eveiy two 
hours. Dr Henderson left us at midnight, but said he would 
send Dr Qeorge Bell, who had before offered his services 
to sit up the remainder of the night, if we approved. I 
went and proposed this to Sir Andrew, who, with his usual 
consideration, said, " It would be hard on Dr Bell, rousing 
him at such an hour, would it not?" We assured him he 

SIB Andrew's deathbed. 431 

would rather feel it a privilege to come and stay beside him. 
He consented; and in less than an hour Dr Bell came. Sir 
Andrew said to him, "Is not this very selfish, to have 
allowed you to be disturbed in your sleep on my account?" 

I returned at about six in the morning. Found him 
much the sama He had had some sleep— morphia sleep. 
He said he was refireshed by it, that he had dreamt of 
being in India, and aU sort of things; but he did not look 
refreshed, and his breathing was still oppressed, though less 
than it had been. Dr Bell, before leaving us, read to him 
the 103d psalm, a great favourite. This was the last read- 
ing of the Bible to him. I sat on the l)ed beside him, and 
supported his pillows. He thanked me, and said he felt 
much better with all the good things we had given him, 
but thought the brandy might be stopped, as no longer 
necessary, and the soup continued. He did not approve of 
taking spirits except as a medicine. 

He then spoke about our going to Lochnaw soon ; his mind 
was as dear and calm as ever — his breathing made a slight 
noise, but was not oppressiva When I asked him, if it 
was not distressing the noise of his breathing ? he said. No, 
he did not even hear it, and he had no pain whatever. As I 
sat close to him, I observed that when I repeated verses from 
the Bible, but more especially when I prayed, the attention 
he gave to hear me caused the noise in the breathing to cease 
altogether. I therefore prayed the more constantly, and he 
would join and add words to mina I cannot recall much, 
but I thank God that He brought many texts seasonably to 
my mind. Wishing to make him, in some degree, aware of 
his state (though I did not think death was so near as, alas! 
it proved to be), I prayed that God would reconcile us to 
His win, would enable us to say, " Not my will but Thine be 
done," — would make us feel that He knew best what was 
good for us, life or death ! I then said, " And if it should 


be His will to remove you first, oh! grant that soon we may 
be re-united/' I suppose my voice must have faltered; he 
looked at me, and said, ** Re-united ! dearest, are we not 
perfectly united? what do you mean?" I said, "Yes, I 
know we are ; but I prayed that if it pleased God to remove 
you first, to take you to Himself before me, then I asked 
that we might soon be re-united." " Oh ! yes," he replied, 
"may we soon be re-united!" but he slowly added, "I did 
not hear that," and then he went on in prayer, " And may 
all our dear children, all bearing our name, all belonging to 
us, all our race, meet us at the right hand! oh ! may not one 
be missing; may they all be there!" I continued in the 
same strain as he stopped for breath; then slowly and em- 
phatically he concluded, "Yes, may they all be found in. 
that day when He makes up his jewels I " We then spoke of 
what comfort we had had in all our children. " Oh ! yes," 
he said, " I thank God I have no fear, but that they all will 
be brought in, and what mercies ! " " Yes," I said, " you can 
say, goodness and mercy — " "Yes," he said, taking up 
the words, " have followed me all the days of my life." I 
added, and you can also say, "And I shall dwell in the 
house of the Lord for ever." 

Seeing one of the younger boys (Frederick) at the door, 
looking very anxious, I asked if he might come in. The poor 
boy, on being admitted, could hardly bear to look at his 
dear father, he was so changed since he had seen him a day 
or two before, but he took the hand he held out to him and 
fervently kissed it; Sir Andrew drew his hand to his mouth 
and most affectionately returned it. He then said, " I am 
much better, Freddy, I feel quite well, but the cruel doctors 
will not let me get up." He asked if he had been at school, 
and seemed perplexed to find he had not The same scene 
was repeated with Gerald. After they went away, he said 
to me, " I fear my poor boys got a sad alarm about me the 

SIR Andrew's deathbed. 433 

other night" (Tuesday, when he first took the alarming turn). 
I said, ''Yes; they and all of us were much alarmed, and 
really they are not yet in a state for going to school, they 
are so distressed about you/' 

About three o'clock, the Rev. Mr Drummond, of the 
English Episcopal Church in Edinburgh, came to see him, 
and prayed beside Sir Andrew, who seemed much pleased 
at seeing him, shook hands, and thanked him.* After he 
went, the doctors again came, and Sir Andrew asked if really 
he must not get up, as he felt well, and had so much to do. 
The reply was in the negative. 

I now began to perceive that my dear husband's cheeks 
looked more hollow; but yet there was not much change 
in his appearance. He, as usual, was ever turning upon me 
looks of affection, and saying, " Bless you, dearest," " Thank 
you, dearest" After partaking of some tea, he said to me, 
" Did the doctors really say I was not to get up?" making a 
movement as if he was going to get up. I said, " O, yes ; 
they said you must not think of it" " If they said so, then 
I won't get up; but I feel well" I got up beside him on the 
bed, and asked if he would like his head lower, or the pil- 
lows altered. " No," he said, " I will keep them as the doc- 
tors left them." I desired the servant to keep near, so that 
I might call if I wanted help. I then silently commended 

* Sir Andrew's opinion of Mr Drummond and his position may be 
seen from the following extract of a note to Mr Leeke, dated 28th Dec. 
1842 : — " He is the best of good men, and I verily believe could not 
have acted otherwise. But he was a marked man on account of his re- 
sistance to Puseyism in general, and he had no choice but to resign to 
escape ' suspension/ which would have placed him in a false position. 
All the evangelical Episcopalians in Edinburgh, of whom I know any 
thing, are rallying round him. He is the author of a ' Sermon for the 
Times,' which, with a preface and appendix, exposes the whole doings 
of Puseyism. There is not a better man, nor a more sound divine in 
England than Mr Drummond." 



my dear husband to God. I still prayed for life, knowing 
tliat all things were possible to God. 

Finding, by the increasing weakness of the pressure 
with which he still turned round and pressed his lips to 
mine, that life was ebbing, though slowly and gradually, 
away, I earnestly prayed that the struggle might be brief — 
that there might be none — that His servant might gently 
sink to sleep with Jesus! And to this my last prayer a full 
and gracious answer was given. It was fulfilled most strik- 
ingly. He seemed still quite sensible, and I prayed beside 
him, close to him. '' I thanked the Lord that through life 
He had been *our Shepherd;' so that we had not wanted 
any good thing. I blessed Him for the green pastures^ for 
the still waters; above all, that He had restored our souls, 
and led us in the paths of righteousness for His own name's 
sake." I knew that all this was familiar to his ear, because 
we had been reading together Stevenson's beautiful exposi- 
tion of that psalm, and I thought be could the easier follow 
me while he retained his powers of mind. I saw now they 
were going; so I prayed that, " in the valley of the shadow 
of death God would be with us, that we might fear no evil, 
that his rod and his staff might still comfort us." When I had 
ceased, I saw the change was at hand. I imprinted a last 
kiss on his quivering lips; he still seemed to acknowledge it. 
I called to the servant ; he came, just as my dear husband bent 
forward his head ; then, with a last, long sigh, he laid his head 
back on the pillow, which my arm supported, and he was gone, 
from a world of sin and sorrow, to the presence of his God, 
*' Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, and rest from 
their labours." My first impulse was, to return most fervent 
thanks to the Lord, who had heard and answered my prayer, 
and had given to His servant so peaceful, so painless, so 
blessed an end. Nor did I feel the reality, and the fulness^ 
of my own loss, till I returned to the chamber of death, and 

SIR Andrew's deathbed. 435 

looked on the cold and rigid remains of one so inexpressibly 
dear! Then, indeed, I felt that God was giving us an awful 
lesson of the bitter effects of sin, which brought death and 
sickness and sorrow to this earth ; but, blessed be God, who 
giveth us the victory over all oiu: enemies, through Him 
that loved us, and gave himself to death for us, and who 
has given us this most consoling promise, wherewith to 
"comfort one another," that, when He shall come again, 
then " them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with 


AFRHi 19, 1849. 

''The funeral of this much respected and lamented baronet 
took place on Thursday; and, in accordance with the request 
of a large portion of his fellow-citizens, the ceremony was a 
public one. The long train of mourners who followed his 
remains to the tomb was composed of men of all parties and 
denominations, and the whole line along which the proces- 
sion passed was crowded with spectators, several of the shops 
being shut; and every available spot from which a view could 
be obtained was occupied. The various bodies intending to 
be present having assembled at their appointed places, they 
proceeded to the residence of the deceased, in Rutland Square, 
where the procession formed, and moved thence in the fol- 
lowing order :— 

"A division of police, followed by the baton-men ; the ge- 
neral public, walking four abreast, and headed by Sir Adam 
Hay, Bart, Earle Monteith, Esq, sheriff of Fifeshire, and 
Robert Paul, Esq. ; then followed the members of the Young 
Men's and Working Men's Sabbath Observance Society, and 
* The following account appeared in several newspapers of the day. 


the Committee of the Sabbath Alliance. The next in order 
were the students, who numbered between sixty and seventy; 
and upwards of fifty ministei^, professoi^, &c. ; amongst whom 
we noticed Dr Muir, Dr Hunter, Dr Amott, Dr Macfarlane 
of Duddingstone (Established Church) ; Dr Cunningham, Dr 
Duncan, Dr Begg (Free Church); Dr M'Crie; Professors 
Miller, Menzies, &c.; Rev. Messrs A. Thomson and Reid 
(United Presbyterian) ; Rev. Mr Goold, &c. The members 
of the Town Council were next in the line of procession, and 
included the Lord Provost, BaiUe Tait, Convener Weir, and 
Councillors Gray, Young, Miller, and Fyfe ; Charles Cowan, 
Esq., M.P. for the city, also took his place in the procession. 
Immediately before the hearse was a deputation from the 
Lochnaw tenantry, with regard to whom it is right to men- 
tion, that the family of the deceased baronet had engi^ed 
a vessel for the purpose of bringmg them (amounting to be- 
tween fifty and sixty) to attend the funeral, but she unfortu- 
nately grounded in the bay while commencing her voyage, 
80 that only those who could procure other means of con- 
veyance were enabled to be present Then followed the 
hearse, drawn by six horses, containing the body ; five mourn- 
ing coaches, with four horses each, containing the relatives of 
the family and private friends of the deceased, — among whom 
we observed. Rev. Dr CandUsh, Rev. Mr Drunmiond, Dr 
George Bell, Dr Moir, A number of private carriages closed 
the line of procession. The coflSn was of mahogany, covered 
with crimson velvet, bearing a plain inscription, merely in- 
dicative of the name and age of the deceased. 

" At about half-past eleven, the procession moved along 
Rutland Street and Princes Street, passing up the North 
and South Bridges and Nicolson Street, to the Grange Ce- 
metery; on arriving at which, it passed into the grounds, 
until its rear reached the gate. The procession then halted 
till the coflin, which was afterwards carried shoulder high. 


was taken out of the hearse, when those forming the pro- 
cession moved round the cemetery till they arrived at the 
tomb, when the whole opened up right and left, and the 
vast assemblage being all uncovered, the body was lowered 
into its last resting-place, immediately adjoining the graves 
of Sherifif Speirs and Dr Chalmers. Every part of the beau- 
tifully laid out grounds was crowded to excess; and the day 
at this period being fine, with a brilliant sunshine, the scene 
altogether was one of the most imposing description." 

Tlie remains of the deceased Baronet were followed to the 
grave by six out of the seven sons who survive him (the ab- 
sent one being prevented from attending by indisposition). 
They were accompanied by his sons-in-law. Rev. Thomas B. 
Bell of Leswalt, and F. L. M. Heriot, Esq., of Bamomie, 
and his brothers-in-law, James Evans, Esq., T. H. Graham, 
Esq., and Admiral Wauchope. 


Sir Andrew had thirteen children, of whom ten survive, 
viz. : — 1. Andrew, the present Baronet; 2. JohnDe Courcy 
Andrew; 3. David Carnegie Andrew; 4. James Andrew; 
5. Agnes, now Mrs Thomas Bell ; 6. Martha, now Mrs F. 
L. M. Heriot; 7. Stair Andrew; 8. Thomas Frederick An- 
drew ; 9. Gerald Andrew ; 10. Mary Graham. The de- 
ceased members of the family are — Elizabeth, who died 
January 30, 1830 ; Madeline Elizabeth, who died Novem- 
ber 8, 1830; and Michael Andrew, who died May 6, 1839. 




O mingled web of April hours, 

In sleet, in sunshine, and in showers, 

Ye herald on the way ! 
Well — ^for a sorrow and a joy, 
Our strangely blended thoughts employ, 
A loss, a gain, the first our own — 
The last, all his, who is laid down, 

In his still sleep to-day ! 

And well may Labour from her task 
Look up, one respite hour to ask, 

And Want, with deep, dim eye; 
All thronging dense from close and lane, 
To swell the sable winding train. 
That like a river of dark waves. 
Flows onward to that place of graves, 

Where Scotland's treasures lie. 

Thrice-honoured home of righteous dust ! 
Thy consecration is the trust, 

Committed to thy breast ! 
Dust, precious in Jehovah's sight. 
Each grain a germ of living light. 
Sown, in earth's harvest-time to spring. 
When He — ^her so long absent King, 

Shall come, and give her rest ! 


Till then, within thy bosom deep, 
Must Chalmers sleep his quiet sleep. 

The mighty, and the mild ! 
Serene, as in that noontide-rest, 
They knew — who knew and loved him best, 
Wlien, spirit-worn with giant care. 
Hushed in an atmosphere of prayer. 

He slumbered, like a child ! 

And fast beside the massive stone. 
That bears — best epitaph in none, — 

The letters of his name ! — 
Another, * meetly neighboured, lies ; 
Whom thousands — blessings in their eyes, — 
Name by wild shore, and lone hill-side, 
'Neath fanes, that wanton power denied. 

Till his clear voice cried " Shame !" 

And now to these a third we bring, 
To God a priest ! — to God a king ! 

By gentleness made great ! 
Great, in his toil of patient love. 
Great, in his Saviour's sight above, 
Great, in that kingdom where shall stand. 
Who do, and teach His least command, 

Sharing their Master's state! 

Alas ! the righteous pass away ! 
The grave hath richer spoils to-day. 

Than bankrupt life may keep ; 
And, as we quit the hallowed ground. 
The heaven with rain clouds blackening round. 
There seems an omen in the gloom, 
A presage of overshadowing doom. 

While His beloved sleep ! 

* Graham Speirs, Esq., the late lamented Sheriff of Edinburgh. 


We may not spare thee to the rest, 
Thy natural love had chosen best, 

Anear thine own roof-tree ! 
Where in the silence of the hills, 
Thy lake its bubbling fountain fills, 
And oft ss midnight storms arise, 
To its chafed voice — a voice replies. 

The far voice of the sea ! 

O there thy sleep were sweet and sound. 
The old home shadows closing round. 

The dear familiar scene ! 
The fathers of thine ancient line, 
Hushed in a calm, profound as thine. 
And trees, thy boyhood's planting, near. 
Renewed in freshness, year by year. 

To keep thy memory green ! 

And reverent love had met thee there. 
Smoothing thy narrow couch with care. 

As if it were thy bed ; 
And children's children still had come. 
For Sabbath teachings to thy tomb, 
God*s boon and privilege of rest, 
A sacred link in each young breast. 

With the beloved dead ! 

Ah ! kindred eyes may weep to see. 
Thy life and death must sundered be. 

Thy home and grave apart ! 
But ever, ever, self-denied, 
Unto thvself thou hast not died. 
And 'mid the vexed world's din and stir. 
To be the Lord's remembrancer — 

We need thee, where thou art ! 


We need thee — ^by our common path — 
A power thy buried presence hath, 

Thy very dust a tone ! 
O whisper low from out the grave, 
His birthright to the Sabbath slave — 
And thrill conviction to the breast 
Of him who robs his brother's rest, 

A spendthrift of his own ! 

Teach us, true witness for thy Lord ! 
How still to wield the Spirit's sword, 

In meekness tempered best ; 
Teach us to bear the taunt, the scoff, 
The hour when timid friends fall off, 
The cold approval, heartless blame. 
With this, " My Master bore the same. 

And there remaineth rest ! " 

O gentle in thy firmness still. 
Who ever moved thy steadfast will, 

Or chafed thy patient mood ! 
Bearing a blessing in thine hand. 
The banner of thy God's command, 
While surging passions swell and toss, 
Calm in the presence of the Cross, 

For evil rendering good ! 

Alas ! we would have kept thee here — 
And stretched our hope to some far year. 

Crowned with a contest won ! 
Unheeding how beneath our view, 
Tlie ripeness of thy spirit grew, 
It« weariness of sin and strife, 
Its gentle weanedness from life, 

Telling thy work was done ! 


Sweet ftftcr labour fallcth sleep ! 
It may be, that thy grave shall reap. 

That which thy life hath sown ! 
And they who owe thee better birth. 
Uphold the Sabbaths of the earth, 
Until, when earth and heaven are moved — 
servant! faithful and beloved, 

Tliou shalt receive thy Crown I 




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